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A Better Place, A Better Time

Summary:
It’s impossible, this can’t be… 1917. Even time, itself, can’t keep them apart. If this is a dream… I don’t ever want to wake up. Bella finds herself nearly 100 years in the past. Coincidentally in the city of Chicago. (Takes place during New Moon when Edward has left, AU.) Time traveling should be illegal. *COMPLETE* Sequel "All This Time" is posted on my profile.


Notes:
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in the story. Warnings: None yet. This takes place during New Moon, when Edward is M.I.A. It does not take the rest of the series into account. Enjoy. *Complete as of 4-25-2008!


3. 3. At the World?s End

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3. At the World’s End

A hundred years wouldn’t change the way I feel about you.

A hundred years… A hundred years…

It feels like a grey cloud around my head. I can hear sweet whispers around me that I can barely understand. There’s a soft scratching at my forehead and a cool sting across my face. They’re not things I’m sure about, but things, that I can only guess, are really existing around me.

“Where was she?” It was a woman’s voice coming from outside the cloudiness. She talked in a quiet, rushed voice.

“In the alley.” Another voice, this time male. He dragged his ‘a’ in a way that reminded me of the old time sound clips of mobsters.

“Just out there?” I forced my eyes open just in time to see the women motioning out the window. The cloud had disappeared from around me, and I could see her face and her gentle features. Her small, round nose and fierce green eyes. She pulled her lips into a tight line.

He nodded. His face was turned towards her with his back to me. But the dark locks of hair hung loosely at the collar of his tweed jacket.

“What about the men you said were following her?”

“They ran off, luckily.”

She nodded and scanned my body before noticing my eyes were open. She motioned to the boy. Who turned immediately, his shock-white face startled me. His features weren’t what I was expecting. His blue eyes stared back at me with a round, pudgy face. His nose shot out from his face like a jagged cliff and end just above his plump lips. He couldn’t be older than 14.

“Go get my son.” The woman pushed the boy out of her way and came at me with a cold, damp cloth. She smiled at me sweetly, placing the cloth at my forehead. “You have a rather large bump here on your forehead, but otherwise...”

I nodded lightly, realizing how lucky I was, yet again. I tried not to move, but the simple movement shot a sting of pain down my spine. I shuddered uncontrollably as the pain slowly subsided.

“Careful, dear.” She stood quickly and moved to the cabinet across from me. I felt beneath me the soft, luxury of the sofa. My head was resting against the armrest and my feet hung slightly off the edge. The room was papered in a soft floral design with gold molding at the ceiling. A bright Tiffany-style lamp hung from the middle of the room. She pulled open the cabinet and pulled a sheet of paper out. She scribbled a few words on it and left the room.

His silhouette blocked the arched entryway. The glare of the light made it difficult to make out any features, but I didn’t need to. My eyes watered and my head burned, the sting of pain burst through my chest and into my throat. My words spilt out. “Edward,” I gasped. “I- You’re…”

As he moved into the room, his face became clearer. I saw for the first time it wasn’t Edward. Not the Edward I knew. He was different. His pink skin, blushed with heat and his body was lanky beneath his jacket. Under his eyes, the purple circles, I had come to love, were gone. His breath moved in and out of his chest in a hurry, greedy for more oxygen to feed his veins. He was anything but my Edward. He was human.

He stared at me intently; his green eyes alight with thought. He shook his head and came closer, kneeling beside me. His eyes were blank, searching mine. They were a glistening green, and I couldn’t find a trace of my Edward in them. He examined my face for a trace of a resemblance to anyone he knew, but I knew the moment he withdrew, he had no idea. There was an empty look in his face. The whole was still in my chest, even with him just within my reach.

“Edward,” the woman burst into the room, “There you are.” She was frantically gasping for breath. “Where have you been?”

The human Edward removed himself from my side. “I was looking for father.”

“Well?”

“Meetings,” Edward frowned, leaving his mother with nothing.

“I just sent Timothy out for some aspirin. We must have run out.”

Edward nodded, rubbing his chin between his thumb and index finger. He turned away from me, and said softly, “What are we going to do with her?” As if I couldn’t hear him.

I pulled myself up, anger spilling out. “I can hear you!” The pain still thundered in the back of my head. “I can hear you, Edward! But why can’t you hear me?” I fell to my knees sobbing, overdramatically. “Why?”

His mother grabbed me by the shoulders, glancing up to Edward with a look of pure confusion, as if she had missed something important in the moments she was gone. I watched as he squeezed his eyes shut and pursed his lips. He shook his head and glanced at me once more before exiting the room in a few, long strides.

His mother smiled gently at me, “You’re a little confused still from that bump on your head. Why don’t I help you to the spare bedroom? And I think I’ll call the doctor.”

The hallway was darkly lit with a single electric bulb sitting on a table at the end of the hallway. I grasped at wall, my fingernails scraping the paint and grappling with the chair rail. The walls seemed to be closing in around me, the yellow paint suffocating me. My head pounded and my body shook violently as we neared the bedroom door.

She swung the door open in front of me, and I fell, collapsing on the bed, barely reaching the cushioning mattress. My eyelids snapped shut and the darkness behind them closed in on me.

More dreams flew in around me. This time the urge to jump clung to my chest, but jump where? There was nothing to jump off of or on to. I stood alone in on a green patch of grass; the surroundings were unrecognizable as they spun around me. That sickening feeling that comes from taking a corner too fast grew inside my stomach like a sponge in water. It soaked up the feeling of ease that comes with a peaceful sleep. I had never had such heart wrenching and stomach sickening dreams in my entire life. I felt as though the world was crumbling around leaving me there on a cliff of oblivion. That urge returned to my stomach as the cliff formed around me. Each blade of grass crumbled and fell below me in a sudden rumble, disappearing in a circular motion. It left me on a small pillar of grass. The ground below was obscured by a drifting fog. My little safe haven trembled beneath me, shaking me free of the platform. I fell.

That sickening felling clenched my insides. I threw my arms out to my sides to catch myself, jerking violently.

His eyes were watching me. The emerald green glittered in the distant lamp light. A cold sweat dampened my brow and neck. I pulled the blankets in around me, my stomach still churning like a tropical storm.

“I’m sorry, Bella,” he whispered.