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Sixty Years Later

What if Edward leaves, and comes back for Bella - sixty years later?

I do not own anything except the plot.

1. Chapter 1

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1209   Review this Chapter

The sharp, crisp scent of the hospital assaulted my keen sense of smell and I shook my head slightly to clear it of vivid memories of another life, in heaven - memories that would leave me crumpled on the immaculate, shiny floors sobbing dry tears endlessly. I was on a mission: to see my beloved angel for the last time. Feeling the familiar sting in my eyes, I wiped my hands against my non-existent tears and trudged on forward. My family had offered to come with me but this was something I had to do myself. Something that I alone had to face, no matter how broken I was inside.

Ignoring the stares and thoughts of other curious onlookers, I reached the white door. It was strange how feelings so contradictory swept through me as I smelt her delicious scent: pure, unadulterated happiness, and yet, intense anguish. Hiding my inner feelings from the world was something I had mastered to perfection exactly sixty years ago - ever since I left her. Putting on a cool, calm façade, a mask of absolute indifference, to hide myself from the rest of the world - because I was already dead inside. Swallowing, I went in.

Even sixty years later, she still looked exquisitely beautiful, the goddess I knew. Wrinkles lined her face, showing the years she had lived - without me - and her dark hair, adorned with spidery white strands, still held the same lustre from years before. I looked at the board in front of her bed. Isabella Marie Black, it read.

Isabella Black.

Isabella Black.

This was what I always wanted for her, but seeing it in reality instead of a figment of my imagination was too much for me to bear. My dead heart wrenched agonisingly and I could not help but let a soft sob escape my lips.

Her eyes snapped open - she was not sleeping like I thought she was. Her hazel eyes connected with mine. I felt all my barriers drop instantly. And in the treasured moment - for once in sixty years - I felt warm, whole, alive. She gave me a little smile, and I felt pure bliss seeping through every pore in my being. Was that how Jacob felt every time she smiled at him?

"Hello there," she spoke, her voice a fragile, faint whisper in the dim room. "Don't mind me, I was just pretending to sleep. Those nurses can be such a pain sometimes, telling me to do this and that, taking my blood once in a while." She cringed visibly.

That was my Bella. But not mine anymore.

I found myself straining to catch every sound of her melodious voice - the voice of an angel - committing it to memory for eternity. She went silent and looked at me expectantly. "Will you forgive me?" I choked out finally, my throat constricting tightly around my airway.

Her expression was of that of bewildered puzzlement - definitely not a reaction I had expected at all. "Jessica told me you accidentally tore the card I gave you. It's all right; I'll get you another one. There's no need to apologise." She smiled at me encouragingly, and I felt my earlier feeling of bliss fading and slipping away, like a delicate butterfly in the dark night.

"I think you are in the wrong room, young man." She giggled, and the memories of the happiness we had shared together flooded back in painful clarity. "Jessica's room is next door. You are her grandson, right?" She smiled at me warmly. "She always telling me about you. She misses you, you know - go see her. She's in the room next to mine." She repeated and nodded at the door.

I could not believe it. Before I could open my mouth to explain, the door opened. A middle-aged man, with dark brown hair exactly like Bella's, entered. "Mum, who's this?"

Bella waved her hand impatiently. "It's just Jessica's grandson. You know, Henry?"

"Yes," he said, scrutinising me. He had features very similar to Jacob. "I'll be outside waiting, Mum. Call if you need anything."

Bella nodded. "Why don't you go home and get some rest? It'd do you no good, sitting in the hospitals with me all day."

"I work here, Mum."

"I know, sweetheart. Go home, take a bathe, and spend some time with your wife. I will be fine." She smiled lovingly at her son.

He smiled back and her, and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "I will still be waiting outside."

With a final look at me, he swept out of the room. "That's my son." She told me, as I struggled to contain the jealousy and grief threatening to overwhelm me.

"I am not Jessica's grandson."

"Oh really?" She said, surprised. "Are you looking for the other Isabella here, then? People always come in here mistaking me for her, you know. She's on the other side of the hospital. Sometimes, it makes me wonder if people go to her room, mistaking her for me." She laughed.

"Have you ever seen me before?" I tried calmly.

"No." She laughed again, and then frowned slightly. "Come to think of it, you actually do look familiar..."

"Edward Anthony Masen Cullen. Ring any bells?" She could not forget me like that - like I was nothing but a distant memory, a fading dream - could she?

Her forehead creased, but she laughed again. "Nope. I don't know anyone by that name."

Horror washed through me. And the stinging in my eyes came back. She had really believed the cruel lie then - that I did not love her. How could she believe that lie? That was all I was to her - and it was my fault, no one else's - nothing but a distant memory, a flash of paradise.

She sat back into her pillows and closed her eyes.

"Edward Anthony Masen Cullen." She murmured, so softly a normal human would not have been able to hear it. "For some reason, I love that name..."

I froze.

"Somehow, it calls to me like a long-forgotten dream, something tugging on the edge of my elusive memories..." Her voice, as sweet and soft as rose's petals. "I love that name..."

And then, my stomach lurched. I could hear it all so clearly. Her heart had just stopped beating. The sharp whine of the alert could be heard, ringing and ringing... crowds of people rushing in... but it was like I was underwater, listening to nothing but the sounds of the water...

I love that name...

I snapped out of my reverie as someone roughly pushed me away and towards the open window. Wasn't that the exact same thing she had told me sixty years ago? In the midst of all the confusion and yelling in the room, I leapt out of the window swiftly, glancing at her peaceful face and reliving it once again in my mind.

I did promise her that I'd follow after her as soon as she left, and I did not intend to break that promise.

Wait for me, Bella, my love.