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Deja Vu

Summary:
Edward never came back after he left Bella in New Moon. Bella went to college, married Jacob, had a daughter. When Bella's grandaughter and Edward find each other in Forks, can Edward overcome his memories and devote himself to a new love?


Notes:
It's a tired old plot, but this is the first time I've ever written Twilight fanfiction, so please indulge me.


3. Chapter 3

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2598   Review this Chapter


Edward

I leave Izzie’s house overjoyed, but somewhere beneath the joy there is a brooding unhappiness. The unhappiness says: It can’t last. Things like this don’t happen twice. You shouldn’t be doing this, you’re putting her in danger. This is Bella all over again, but at least with Bella you resisted, you tried to stop yourself, to stop her. This time, you’re not even making an effort, you’re diving in and ignoring the undertow, but the undertow is still there…And don’t try to pretend it isn’t hard. Don’t pretend you haven’t imagined ripping her throat, drinking her blood like the monster you are. And you are a monster, make no mistake.

What makes it worse is that I know Alice and Jasper are waiting at the house, preparing to just this, though perhaps without the monster reference. Carlisle and Esme will back them up, less harshly, not so judgmental, but they think the same thing.
I park the Lexus in garage and try not to groan. The Jaguar is back, meaning Rosalie and Emmett are here, dragged home from their honeymoon in Quebec to swell the disapproving ranks. I enter the house depressed.

“In here, Edward.” It’s Esme, speaking from the dining room, where the six of them are assembled. I wince slightly. I hadn’t realized all four of them were going to gang up on me at once. I sit down in an empty chair and look out politely at the assembled faces of my family.

“Good evening, everyone,” I say. They all wait for a second, tight-lipped, wondering where to begin.
“This can’t go on,” Alice says flatly. I shift slightly and try not to look guilty. I know she is right, but I’m weaker than I thought: I cannot admit that I know that what I’m doing is wrong.

“I beg you pardon?” I ask.

“You know what she means,” Jasper says.

“Don’t be so rude, Jasper,” Esme says, trying to defuse the atmosphere. “But really, Edward, this girl. Izzie…”

“What we mean is: don’t do this again,” Alice says. “Please. Don’t fall in love with her, don’t fall in love with Bella’s granddaughter. Don’t make everyone go through it again.”

“What is wrong with you?” Rosalie hisses. “Are you just sick? Or have you realized that you screwed up with Bella, you should have changed her, and now you’re trying to redo it? You don’t get second chances, Edward!”

I want to scream, to attack her, to jump out the window and run as far and fast as I can. I want to say you’re right, you’re right, I am sick, please stop me. Instead I say the most ridiculous, least helpful, and most tragic words I can think of.
“I love her.”

Everyone is silent, regarding me tensely.
“Does she love you?” It’s Carlisle, speaking calmly, wanting me to relax.

“I don’t know. Maybe. Not yet, perhaps.” Somehow, I have never doubted that Izzie will love me, given enough time. After all, Bella loved me easily. But Izzie’s not Bella, remember?!

“She doesn’t know yet,” says Esme. “Are you planning on telling her?”

Tell her? How can I tell her? Oh, by the way Izzie, I happen to me a mythological creature who feeds on human blood. But don’t worry about, I’m a vegetarian. See you at lunch.

“How can I tell her?” I ask, hopeless.

“If you love her, and she loves you, you must,” says Carlisle. “And then you must make a choice, the same you made with Bella. Taking into consideration her desires, of course.”

Her desires? How could anyone want to be a monster? Then again, Bella never had any trouble with it.

Alice has been watching me sharply. “You’re thinking about Bella, aren’t you?” she asks. She’s taken me by surprise. I nod stiffly.

“If you really love Izzie, you’re going to have to get over Bella,” Alice says. “I know it hurts, but that’s just how it is. You can’t love two people at once, even if one of them is dead.”

Alice is right, but how can I abandon Bella, who lives now only in my memory? Her eternal clumsiness finally got the better of her a few years ago– she slipped on ice while crossing the street and was hit by a car. I sent flowers to the funeral.

Izzie’s not clumsy. Izzie walks quickly, smoothly. Izzie spikes volleyballs like she has a personal grudge against them. Izzie. Bella. Izzie. Bella.

I escape the family conclave by pleading that I need time on my own to think. I plan to go to the woods, but somehow I end up in Izzie’s room, watching her sleep. It’s late – past two. She sleeps on her side, slightly curled up. Her breathing is heavy and slightly raspy when she breathes out – just hovering on the edge of a snore. At first I don’t think, just watch her face, which is mostly obscured by hair. Watch her breathe in and out, her shoulders rise and fall. Close my eyes and listen to the beat of her heart. It’s hypnotizing. At long last, when I am perfectly calm, I turn my thoughts free, try to understand what I’m doing.

I love her.

So? You loved Bella. It’s the haunting voice in my head, the brooding unhappiness that comes when things go too well. I wish it would go away.

Yes, I loved Bella. But I didn’t know how much I loved her until she wasn’t there.

Until you weren’t there, you mean. You left her, not the other way around. You left her, and it almost killed her.

She got over it. She recovered. She found someone else to love.

How could you hurt her that way and claim you loved her, love her still? You are monstrous.
It was the best thing for her. I was being…kind. In a twisted sort of way.

Yes, and that’s why it’s sad. Even your kindness is monstrous.

What was I supposed to do? The only other option was to turn her into a monster herself!

Yes. All the options were monstrous. And you know why? Because it is your nature to be a monster, and you cannot change it. Because everything you do, everything you touch is –

“Stop it!” I surprise myself by speaking aloud, just the faintest whisper. Izzie does not stir.

This isn’t helping. Anyway, this is all a bit premature. She doesn’t even know you’re a vampire, she might not even love you.

She must love me! Bella loved me!

She’s not Bella. She’s her own person. You seem to keep forgetting that. Was Rosalie right? Is this about re-creating the life you could have had with Bella; not about Izzie at all? How disgusting.

No! I do love her! I love her differences as much as her similarities. I know she’s not Bella!

Are you sure?

Izzie

I awoke the next morning feeling strangely happy, almost uplifted. Uplifted is not a typical feeling for me in the morning, or pretty much any time before ten. What was going on? I scanned my memory and could find nothing to trigger this kind of pleasure in being alive. I watched the dust motes play in the rays of sun coming in my window, trying to understand.
Then it clicked. Sun! There was sun coming in my east-facing window! I hadn’t seen the sun since I drove across the Washington state line. My father had explained that Forks is, quite literally, the rainiest town in the rainiest state in America. I’d missed the sun, but thinking about Edward Cullen had proved to be a powerful distraction.

I leaped out of bed and pulled on clothes, then bounded into my bathroom. My bathroom was the newest part of the house, it had been added about twenty years ago. Before that, there had been only one in the entire house. When I first heard this, I had offered silent thanks to the philanthropist who had decided to remodel. Sharing a bathroom with my father might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I finished some homework over breakfast and left the house early. I drove to school with the windows down, despite the chilly breeze. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed the sun. I parked and just sat on the hood of the truck for awhile, enjoying the sun and the peacefulness of the morning.

“Izzie?” My eyes snapped open. It was Hannah LeConte, the girl who sat beside me in English. I thought we would probably become friends – we’d talked through most of the last class.

“Hey,” I said. “It’s sunny.”

“Yeah. It happens every now and then here, when the planets align.”

“Not that you can see them from beneath the cloud cover.” Hannah grinned.

“You coming to school, then? The bell’s about to ring.” I sighed.

“Yeah, I’m coming. It just seems a pity to waste such a good day in school.”

“I guess you’re a good match for Edward Cullen, then.”

“What?”

“Oh, aren’t you going out with him? I thought-,”

“I’m not exactly going out with him. Not yet. But why does that make me a good match for him?”

“Because he – and his brother and sister – are never in school when it’s sunny. They’re always going hiking when the weather’s good.”

Edward wasn’t going to be in school. My mood dropped, but I tried not to show it. I didn’t want Hannah to know how into him I was. A scrap of conversation drifted across my mind
“I’m afraid my wit doesn’t sparkle. I, however do….In the sun. Like a diamond.”
I brushed it off.

“Oh.” I shrugged casually. “Whatever. I’ll get to talk to other people at the lunch table, then.”

I slid off the hood, taking my bag with me, and the two of walked to first-period English.

At lunch, I discovered that I was more popular than I’d suspected. Edward’s absence had encouraged several of my male classmates to sit with me. I knew who they all were – I had classes with them all – but my romantic interest in them was so small as to be a negative number.

We talked about school, college, ourselves; the same kind of thing I’d discussed with Edward, really. But somehow this conversation was not intriguing or flirtatious. It was unspeakably boring, even banal. Lunch did not fly by, it crawled like an slug on tranquilizers. Not that I’ve ever seen a slug on tranquilizers, of course.

One of the boys, I think his name was Jeremy, walked me to my next class. He smiled a lot and tended to lose his thread of conversation when I smiled back, much to my amusement. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t smiling at him because I liked him, I was just keeping my hand in at flirting. I could flirt with Edward, of course, but Edward was an entirely different kettle of fish. With Edward I wasn’t in control of the conversation like I was here. It was sort of a relief to find out that I could still flirt normally with other people.

Because I was now officially part of the volleyball team, my PE class had become a study hall. Gym was only compulsory for people who weren’t involved in athletics. The quiet hour invited introspection; I wanted to figure out what it was about Edward than made talking to him so completely different from talking to other people – but I resisted. Instead I buried myself in Heart of Darkness, the novel we were studying in English. By the time the bell rang, I had successfully derailed the Edward Cullen train of thought. Now I was just feeling homesick.

My truck had been in sitting in full sun all day – when I got in, the cab was actually warm. I settled into the drivers’ seat, closed my eyes, and just vegged for a moment, lost in memories. Warm cars were hardwired into my brain. I remembered being a little girl, shopping with my mother in the summer, coming back to the car and finding it hot, hot, hot. It burned to touch the metal part of the seatbelt. My mother complained about the heat and the lack of shady parking spaces, but I sunk into my seat and relaxed. The sun-heat made me feel safe, protected. It still made me feel like that. But Forks in October is a lot colder than Dallas in July, and this warmth had an edge to it; it was not the all-enveloping warmth of my childhood. It was a reminder that things had changed. I opened my eyes and sighed a little, silently.

I drove home slowly, a little sad. Forks was still a charming, quaint, small town filled with autumn sunshine and bordered with thick, lush woods, but it wasn’t Dallas. It wasn’t a big city glittering in the heat of southern sunshine, surrounded by bleached plains where the sky met the grass. I hadn’t felt homesick at all my first few days in Forks, but now it hit me like steamroller. I wished Edward was there, wished I could explain all this to him.

Edward. My mind edged away from homesickness and closed in on its latest obsession, Edward Cullen. I searched for an answer, any answer, to the question of why he was so different. I’d never met anyone like him. No, that wasn’t true. I’d met plenty of people like him. As lunch today had demonstrated, he really wasn’t that different from any other boy. And yet he was. Why was that? If any other boy had offered to take me to the supermarket I’d have thought they were pretty weird. When Edward offered, I was thrilled.

The solution that I had been pointedly ignoring for two days broke through the repressive walls of my mind and pinched me. You love him. I loved him? Don’t be stupid, another part of me said instantly. You can’t. You barely know him. You’re not like than. You’re not the kind of girl who falls in love, especially not with boys she doesn’t know. Especially not when she’s seventeen. This is stupid, you don’t do love, remember? You figured that out years ago, when everyone was dating for the first time and all your friends were just so in love with their boyfriends, following them everywhere, kissing all the time, talking about how in love they were. You didn’t feel any of that, you just felt curious. And superior. Don’t forget superior.

I parked the car and went inside, my head buzzing with denial. Alright, I decided grudgingly, maybe I’m in love with him. If so, it’s puppy love, it’s immature, stupid, it’ll fade. You do nothing. You behave as if he’s just another guy in your becoming-long line of boyfriends. You behave as if there is nothing special about this relationship. Which there isn’t. Not at all.