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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!


4. 4. Melt

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4. Melt

This time, I really woke up. He was gone. He had never been there, and I knew it. I had hoped that the moment he saw me, he’d scoop me up in his arms and take me away. Take me home with him. But this was his home. This was his beginning, and I was, yet again, an interruption to his life.

I shook my head to myself, the pillow messing up my strands of brown hair. My head throbbed as I made the random movement. The entire left side of my body felt stiff and each little movement of my arm sent a shrill pain echoing through the rest of my body.

I saw his eyes again, how empty they were as he examined my face. No signs of the passion and the love that we had shared… just a few weeks before… Weeks? Maybe it was months?

I scanned the room carefully hoping for some sign of where I was. Finding nothing, I thought back to the last time I remembered feeling partially sane.

I remember getting up in the morning, taking a shower, my mind blank and cold. It was necessary to keep everything out of my head; it kept the thoughts from relating to him… and the hole he had left in my life. I remember school, being sick… and leaving. But leaving to where? Had I gone home? Had I crashed my truck… and died? Or am I still dreaming? But does a person dream of dreaming?

A glint in on the paisley comfortable distracted my momentary lapse in sanity. The crack between the yellow curtains loosened a sliver of sunlight from the sky, casting a long, slender slip of light onto the bed.

With the dim light in the room, I could only make out the outlines of the furniture around me. I peeled the covers back from my body and slipped my legs from the bed. The cold wood floor was a shock to my cozy homeostasis. I curled toes under and cringed at the thought of my feet turning into icicles. I nearly pushed myself from the bed, forcing my limbs to move. My feet dragged across the smooth floor, making little noise. I yanked open the curtains, momentarily blinding me. The bright light flooded into the little room, and the world outside sparkled in its emanating brilliance.

The city stretched out in front of me. It wasn’t the view I was expecting; it was so much more. The only green came from the canopy of trees covering a small bricked courtyard where a round fountain stood empty. A few people milled around, each stood with an air of sophistication.

The door creaked open behind me.

“You’re awake.” His mother smiled at me. Her gentle lips curling into a familiar smile. He had her smile.

I nodded slowly to give my body time to prepare itself for the movement.

“The doctor visited while you were still asleep. The bump on your head isn’t serious, but he thinks that you will do well to take it easy for a few days.”

“My dear,” she scanned my body again, “What interesting… garments.” I stared back at her, not realizing until that moment how her hair was pulled back in a loose beehive at the crown of her head. Her dress was a beautiful peach with a coral belt at her waist and a coral and green floral print at the hem. The fabric draped gently, coming to rest just about the floor to reveal a pair of white shoes with a gently pointed toe and thin laces.

I realized then how ridiculous I must have looked. My jeans were torn at the knee and stained. The sweater that had been my favorite was until I saw the four inch hole just under my left arm and the multiple pulls in the knitting. My hair must have been out of control…

She nodded at my confusion. “It’s alright. We can deal with this.” She quickly stole out of the room, and I heard the water main turn on and spill into a basin. “Come.” She motioned for me to follow her back down the hallway to a closed door. She had filled the footed-bath basin for me.

“Thank you.” She smiled at me again, leaving a large, fluffy towel hanging over the gold towel stand. Next to it she placed a silky pink robe with a white floral pattern. I traced the white accent piping around the neck with my index finger. The silk was warm to the touch. I sighed, with the breath I could feel my release of tension I had stored up in stomach.

“Call me when you’re done.” She back out from the room, nodding her head gently. A strand of brown hair breaking loose from her delicate styling; it bounced lightly and she tucked it behind her ear. The door clicked shut behind her.

I dropped my jeans and sweater to the floor in a massive pile of fabric and dirt. The face in the mirror caught my attention. My hair was practically standing on end. There were dark shadows across my face, from what appeared to be street grime. I had a large bump on the side of my head. As I pushed my hair back, I tested its tenderness with a soft prod from my finger. “Ouch,” I whispered, biting down on my lip. I brushed my hair back and removed the rest of my clothing.

The hot water startled my body. I began to shake as I lowered the rest of my body into the water. The small waves lapped against my chest as I came to a lounging position. It was like the world around me was melting, like I was waking from a dream, but the clarity of reality never came. Instead I was left in a smudged world of warm water and yellow and white tiled walls. It wasn’t just the world melting around me… but my body dissolved in relaxing water. I felt everything around me lighten, the weight of the world suddenly lifted from my heart.

Elizabeth, as it turned out, wasn’t much smaller than I was. She borrowed me a long coat and brushed my hair back into a slender pink ribbon.

“I know a few people in the garment district.”