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On the Edge of a Knife

Summary:
One day, Edward is acting strange, and Bella has no idea why. That night...


Notes:
This is from that seventh grader again, FWI. So if you don't want to read this, then don't, because it might be a bit boring... If you do, then read on! As always... Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, or any of the characters (I wish I owned Edward, though). No copyright infringement is intended.


1. Awakening

Rating 4/5   Word Count 2465   Review this Chapter

I opened my eyes to usual dreary light of Forks. The barely visible sun was just beginning to give off a tentative glow. Beside me, heartrendingly beautiful, with his silky bronze hair as ruffled as always, was Edward. Every time I stared into those clear and fathomless topaz eyes, I knew that something this perfect couldn’t possibly last. I would never grow used to this perfection, and I would never do anything that could ever deserve me this. With his exact resemblance of a Greek god, and his inhuman strength and agility, Edward was definitely not meant for me. As far as I knew, he could be here and then gone like the morning dew. What reason had he to stay? But I just couldn’t lose Edward, no, I couldn’t! There were still those barely healed wounds clawing at my chest, threatening to rip open once again. The bitter memories caught up to me. I struggled to not remember. No, I had to convince myself that Edward was going to remain where I was. My angel, my Edward, could not leave me. Try as I might, a coal of doubt was still burning gaping holes through my heart, leaving scars in its wake.

The angel’s dark eyes blinked. There was Edward, real as day, lying next to me, his skin illuminating eerily in the dawn light. He was real, I marveled. The icy planes of his face shifted. Edward was smiling that same stunning lopsided grin that I loved so much. My heart almost broke in half and my voice caught in my throat. It was all like a dream. And I never wanted to wake up.

Sensing my scrutiny, Edward’s smile widened, his venomous teeth glistening. Was I ever going to get used to this dazzling effect that he seemed to have on me?

“Edward.” The word was like fresh honey, making its way through my mouth. The hole, the empty crevice situated right in the middle of my chest, threatened to open again. His name brought back the reminiscences of too many painful moments; I would never be fully healed. But why was it, then, that when I looked into that pale face, with its liquid gold eyes, all my worries disappeared altogether?

“You’re awake,” Edward acknowledged. “Guess I’d best be leaving.”

“No. Don’t go. Please.” My heart’s pace seemed to be speeding up immensely. I could hear my own breathing, coming out in ragged gasps. I had forgotten, for the umpteenth time, how to take in air like a normal human being.

“Don’t overreact, I’ll be waiting for you.” The promise sounded like a faint whispering in the wind. My instincts told me that what he said was true, but I couldn’t trust my instincts.

Before I had even enough time to register what was just said, my angel was gone. I could hear a distant resounding chuckle. I sighed. I was going to see him again, that much I could count on. At least, I hoped so.

I sat up on the edge of my bed, stretching my tense limbs. Yesterday’s gym class was horrendous. It was soccer this time, and my shins somehow ended up to be covered in bruises at the end. I was dribbling the ball, and I tripped over my own feet. Typical of me, the accident-prone klutz. I managed to kick myself and lose the soccer ball. Was it possible for me to go one day without accidents? The answer was quite obviously a “no.” Anyone who knew me would understand.

It didn’t look like Charlie was going to wake up anytime soon. I took a quick glance at the red digits of my alarm clock. It was five thirty.

Charlie. That brought another thought into my head. My dad wasn’t exactly welcoming to Edward these days. He was still upset about the time when Edward left. It didn’t seem like Charlie forgave and forgot very easily. Whenever “that boy,” as Charlie calls him, comes over, I see more of the serious policeman side of my father than the kind, generous side. Charlie’s concern was understandable, but was there really that much need to be so disturbed about these things? I guess my dad was just my dad, and he cared about me going into my zombie state again. He was just trying to protect me. I, too, knew that if Edward left again, the force would topple me over. I’d be even emptier than I ever was before. And I would be incurable.

I stood up and winced. Those bruises were going to hurt. Limping slightly, I made it to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and pulled my hair into a high ponytail. I made a huge entrance to the washroom, banging my head on the door and grazed my foot somewhere on my way in. I could hear Charlie’s startled snores coming from down the hallway. Then, his breathing became more rhythmic, settling into a regular pattern again.

The rest of the morning passed without much fault, other than me tripping down the stairs and making a grand show of accidentally pouring too much milk into the cereal bowl. I was in a hurry to get outside, where I knew Edward would be, waiting like he always had.

I rushed out of the house, trying to reach Edward as soon as possible. Of course, for someone like me, running had its dangers. I tripped the moment I saw my beloved, and the next moment, I was in Edward’s arms.

“Nice.” He arched one perfect eyebrow. I didn’t think I would ever lose my clumsiness. Not even if I became a vampire. I sighed. I wished that I could be with Edward for all eternity. He, on the other hand, denied me just that. We couldn’t even talk about it without raising a massive argument. I knew that this was only because, as he said, I wasn’t to be damned to an eternity of hell if I could live life like a real person. Edward loved me, but it was my soul that he would be giving up. I sighed heavily. There were many troubles in my life.

Edward took my sigh as a cue. He took my face in his icy hands and touched his lips to mine. After all this time, I still hadn’t learned how to inhale and exhale properly. His mouth was only there for a split second. When he pulled away, his forehead creased slightly. There was something that Edward had neglected to tell me.

“What’s wrong?” This did not look good. What if my one and only angel, my comfort, my haven, what if he decided to leave again? I knew that I would go to pieces this time. Literally. The folds on his brow grew even more pronounced. I could see that he was struggling to keep his face straight.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Edward replied smoothly, without a trace of doubt in his voice, like the faultlessly delivered lines of an actor. His voice was velvety and soft, but there was an edge of hardness. His tone was unusually gruff. There was a problem; there was no question about it. But I could tell that he wasn’t about to say any more.

“Oh.” I let the subject drop. What the heck was up with Edward? Was it something concerning my humanity? I wondered. What else could upset him so much?

I slid into the polished silver Volvo wordlessly. For the rest of the short ride, there was an awkward and loud silence. While I was silently seething with frustration—I wished I could read minds—Edward was driving much slower than I was used to. The speedometer said we were going at eighty. That was a first for him.

When we got out of the car, Edward’s frown seemed to be permanently etched into his face; he still hadn’t stopped grimacing at my question. The edges of my mouth twitched downward. Today was going to be a long day. And Coach Clapp was still setting various forms of torture for me. I had Gym class. I prepared myself mentally for this sadism. I would never be capable of readying myself physically for this personal hell of mine. By that, I am referring to my evident clumsiness. If it wasn’t me that was brutally murdered my laughable attempts at soccer, then someone or another was going down.

I walked to English voicelessly. It didn’t look like things were going to get any better. No conversation with Edward yet. I listened nonchalantly to the constant chatter that was coming from the front of the room. I had enough on my mind. I was still trying to decipher Edward’s neutral facial expressions previously. To my right, his forehead held uncharacteristic wrinkles.

I made it through my first few classes before lunch in one piece. No teachers noticed that, instead of listening to their lecturing, I was staring off into space while waging an internal war. It looked like Edward was doing the same.

“Bella?” his very voice questioned by sanity. Didn’t I just see him a second ago? What was happening? My eyes flickered open. I was slumped over the cafeteria table, with my hands covering my face. I was sleeping at lunch. There were the navy blue sleeves of my sweater, stained with food.

Alice seemed to get it immediately. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.” She led me to the girl’s washroom. There was no one inside—everyone was eating.

“Alice, why…what happened?” I inquired while she was scrubbing furiously at my shirt with paper towels and water.

“Oh, that.” Alice’s eyes grew even darker as she spoke. “Edward’s asked me not to tell you. I really wouldn’t want you to know. You’ll find out soon enough.” Her eyes were filled with ancient sorrow. What was wrong with everyone today?

Alice continued to wipe impatiently at my damp clothing. After a long silence that none of us seemed to be capable of filling, she declared me clean enough. Meanwhile, my sleeve was soaked through with the smell of the cheap, liquid soap of the school. I wondered absentmindedly if that would mix with the smell that Edward liked. That was possible.

The day continued on, without anyone realizing my dark mood. During gym, Coach Clapp forced me to play basketball. That was unbearable. Not counting the various times when a teammate had passed to me when I was daydreaming and the ball hitting me in the head, I also accidentally tripped another person, lost the basketball in a record-breaking two seconds, and had almost given Mike a concussion. I felt sorry for the victims of my carelessness. At the end of the class, I smiled apologetically to Mike. He would understand. It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen me in PE before.

Outside the door, Edward was waiting, his forehead puckering. Whatever it was, he still hadn’t gotten over it. This was beginning to worry me. The last time this happened, Edward had left me here to rot. Alone. These were not good signs. He escorted me to his car, struggling to keep some sort of a grin on his face. It didn’t work very well. Instead, he looked like he was grimacing in pain like he was the one who had twisted his ankle in gym today.

We still didn’t talk. Edward was looking extremely disagreeable the whole entire time when he was driving. His eyes were trained on the road, never glancing at me. He didn’t even seem to notice my presence there. That was new.

I leaped out of the car the moment Edward stopped in front of my house, wanting to escape the awkwardness as soon as possible. Slowly, I tread to the door, pondering all the possibilities. Was Edward leaving? Too painful to think about. Was Victoria here? That would explain why he looked so worried, but not the angry part of it. Was it the Volturi? Maybe. Edward didn’t like Carlisle’s old friends. And the fretting, that would explain it. But why were the Volturi here? According to Edward’s reasoning, they weren’t supposed to come for another twenty to thirty years. For all we knew, the Volturi counted years as days, and we wouldn’t cross their minds for a long time.

Before I knew it, I had made it onto my bed. The sheets were still messy, and one of my pillows was on the floor. I bent down to retrieve it and simultaneously took off my backpack. I looked around. This place was disheveled and chaotic. I made a mental note to clean it up tomorrow.

Meanwhile, more theories about Edward and the reason he was upset were forming in my head like a category five hurricane. Maybe it was the werewolves? That wouldn’t really explain the ache that was plain in his eyes. It would, however, show why he was so worked up at school. Charlie? But what about my dad would make him so mad? This was so frustrating. Another two days, give or take, till I met my love again. My infuriated, and infinitely sad love, that was.

I decided to go to sleep. There was no use trying to do anything when I was this incoherent. My brain wasn’t working properly, so I might as well take a rest. Charlie could survive without my cooking for one night, I was sure of that. So I took my CD player and replaced Edward’s with the one that forced my brain not to work—I didn’t want to think about him right now. I sighed. How long was this stress going to continue? There were the Volturi, Jacob, the werewolves, Charlie, Victoria; this was just too much for me.

As I lay down on my soft and comforting bed, I willed myself to forget, forget my worries and fears. And soon, I was overcome by an undisturbed and dreamless sleep.

I heard a faint whispering, then a crash. My eyes staggered open. Who would be trying to get in through my window at midnight? There was a dark motionless figure standing just outside. The person’s—or possibly a mythical creature—shoulders were hunched. I couldn’t tell whether it was a woman or a man, but I was sure of one thing—I was very, very scared. No one could save me. I was utterly hopeless. Fear commanded my vocal cords to scream, but I knew that it would just make matter worse if I woke up Charlie. The stranger was arching down to pry open the window. The dread filled me, and I heard a high-pitched screech. It was me, screaming.