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1918

Summary:
Elizabeth Sophia Masen has everything a woman of her time could want; A loving husband, a son she adores and a easy lifestyle in Chicago. Yet the Fall of 1918 threatens what she holds most dear: Her son Edward The Last few days of Edwards life through the eyes of his mother. "Sequel" to 1918 Now UP! For More of Elizabeth and a vampire Edward turn into "Returning to Chicago" ASAP!


Notes:


6. Morning, 28th September 1918

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2157   Review this Chapter

I was walking in a green forest, it’s terrain rugged, branches pulling at my hair, fallen trees ripping the bottom of my skirt. It was dark and cool, but I could hear the trickling sound of what must be a river, and a light, a clear and bright light was coming like a ray of heaven out of the trees ahead.

What ever I was doing hiking through a rainforest in a long dress gown, I will never know. But it was the stupidest decision I had ever made, I looked at my dress, it was white, or more actually it had been white. The knees had been grass stained, as had the elbows, dirt was ruining the downward trim. Forget what my mother in law thought, this was surly an occasion for bloomers.

I walked towards the light, still with no mercy from the trees above my head, poking at me, my dress falling apart at the hem, I was sure that I looked like a total mess, what would Edna say? The smells of the forest where like the world after a fresh rain, the cool air crossing my face. I was a foot from the celestial light, my head finally breaking through into what must be a meadow.

The meadow was beautiful. A little opening in the devilish forest, this meadow was a Godsend, it’s beauty perfect, the blue sky was offering home the sun shining, it hit my face with an unexpected warmth. I looked to the right side of me where the stream was, merrily bubbling away with contemptment. And there sitting on the banks of the river sat a young woman with long hair, brown with slight tints of red reflected in the sun. I could hear her laughing, her hands moving as though she was stroking someone’s hair.

I walked a little bit on the outline, to see what she was doing. Then I saw her face, well part of it. From what I could see, she was quiet beautiful. Very Beautiful to be exact, fair ivory skin and charming eyes. She was smiling, eyes full of mirth looking down at her lap where rested a young man—his bronze hair being run through the fingers of the young woman, a smile crossing his face, a crooked smile. I felt as though I was imposing on a lover’s embrace, the sound of their voices, gentle and lovely, as though both held the other in the highest of love and esteem. And then I looked at the young man, who had just extended his hand up to gently brush the young woman’s cheek looked so familiar, that smile that laugh—

It was Edward,

And he was sparkling,

He was sparkling like a crystal prism hit by the sun, his bare chest reflecting as though diamonds had been crushed into the skin and was readily reflecting in the sunlight. The Young Woman seemed not to care about that as he bent down to whisper something to him that made him laugh a booming laugh.. one that seemed to shake the holds of the meadow .

He then looked up at her and pulled himself up, both of them where staring at me, Edward with a smile as large as I’ve ever seen, “Mother,” He called out, “This is Bella,”

I woke up with a feverish start, rising immediately with alarm looking at my son in the bed to my left. His face was pained with the fever that was raging within him. The room was dimly lit, in hopes allowing patients to get sleep while doctors could still go about their work. I got out of bed, walking over to where Edward was tossing and turning.

His skin was pale, but, I was relieved, it was not sparkling.

I took his hand gently, it was warm, but then again, so was my own I was sure. I caressed it gently, hoping that he would be able to relax and find some calmness in his sleep.

“Edward—Is there a young girl you haven’t told me about?” I whispered to him, knowing that he couldn’t hear me. I started stroking his hair, similar to how the girl had done in the dream. “Think of her Edward, think of the girl—Bella—I dreamt you where with. You where both so happy, you’re both so in love...” I couldn’t help but smile bitterly, would he live to experience a love like his father and I had? Would ever have a love I dreamt he was experiencing, with the girl in the meadow?

“Now Edward Anthony, I don’t mean to sound like an old prune, you and I both know that’s your Grandmother’s job,” I laughed, as I took the damp cloth that rested on the night table and began to nurse him like I had Sherrie. “But you and I both know that it’s very improper for a young man to have his shirt off when with a young lady,” I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Mark my words, as soon as you get well again we’re going to visit my brother William in Carolina—I will not have a son sparkling. I think the sea air will be good for your health too,” I still laughed with a shudder, maybe the northern weather was doing something to his skin that would cause it to be—different.

“She seems very pretty, I wonder why you haven’t brought her by for dinner,” Then I raised an eyebrow, still cooling his face with the cloth. “You can tell me Edward, do I embarrass you too much? Well forget the matter, of if I do or don’t, your bringing her to dinner the moment we get out of here, but I wouldn’t go tell your grandmother, I think in my dream she was wearing bloomers and we know what your grandmother thinks of young women and bloomers.”

“She looks like she loves you Edward,” I smiled as though this girl—this Bella— was real, and that they where really in love. “I hope you take care of her and she you. But don’t feel like you have to rush into things, be like your father was to me, remember that love is gentle and unselfish, it’s kind, and leaves you blinded as though a shooting star just entered your night sky.”

I looked at the daisy that I had brought from the house; resting next to the glasses I had taken from my husband before they rolled him away. Trying not to choke, I continued “Remember That you should never get cross over silly matters and even the big ones don’t be too quick to blame each other. Don’t do anything stupid when you think everything is falling apart, And above all else remember to always say I Love You, every time you part because you’ll never know if it’s the last time you’ll be able to say it. Say it when you’re angry and say it when you’re overjoyed, and when you say it mean it.”

I looked at his charming face, “Oh my baby,” I sighed, dipping the cloth one more time to see if it was any colder then before, “You’re going to be all right, you hear me?”

I could hear some echoing footsteps behind us and I turned to see Dr. Cullen approaching the two of us. He looked like a walking beacon. If angels escorted you to heaven, I’d be under the influence we had both died, but his expression of disappointment was more then an angel could ever convey.

“Mrs. Masen, you need to go to bed, I’ll call for one of the nurses for your son,” He said, gently taking his hand on my shoulder.

“Look though doctor, he’s not struggling anymore, he’s peaceful,” I smiled making the observation. Edward had stopped moving and was breathing deep, yet rugged breaths.

“When he was little, he had the measles. I was worried sick, I had already lost two children I wasn’t ready to loose my baby that had lived to be seven years old,” I explained lost in my Edward’s face, which was relaxed at last. “ I stayed up all night with him for three days, nursing him, trying to get it to where he wouldn’t struggle in his dreams. His father, Eddie—he did the same thing you just did, he said ‘Lizzie, there is no use for you to work yourself to death. You need to go to bed and let me take care of my son, I can’t risk loosing both of you.’” I smiled slightly, remembering Eddie’s worry. “But I persisted. I stayed up rocking him in the chair his father had bought me when he was born, I would sit on his window seat with him at night and show him the stars and soon, Edward was as strong as an ox when he got well again. He didn’t die, but he survived,” I let my confidence stand, and I’m sure the doctor understood what I was getting at.

“Mrs. Masen, this illness is more infectious then the measles, I beg of you please let us take care of Edward and you,” he pleaded looking at me with his gentle topaz eyes.

“Please Doctor Cullen, realize that I will not allow myself to heal until I know that my son is out of harms way,” I answered, staring at him with hard emerald eyes. “It’s a mother’s instinct to think of her child’s health before her own,” I responded as I put my hand on Edward’s forehead. “Even if it puts the Mother’s health in danger. Her life is worth nothing if her child dies.”

The beautiful doctor smiled and gave a nod, pulling something from his coat pocket. “Well, at least let us help the Mother,” he opened my hand and put in it a teaspoon and a container of medicine. “When he wakes up, give him two of these and call for me and we’ll take his temperature. But please Mrs. Masen, try and get some rest yourself.”

He left me there sitting on the side of my son’s bed, with some medicine, some hope for an absolution, as the night hours began to tick on.

------------------------

I could hear a racking cough echoing the room as a ripping feeling crashed through my chest. The poor soul, who’s suffering that, I thought. As I continued to feel the crashing weight on my chest, I gasped for air to breathe and that’s when I realized that I was the one who was coughing so horribly.

“Mother?” I heard a small voice to my left. There sitting up the best he could in bed was Edward. He looked as well as I felt, something I would loved to erase from my memory. “Yes dear” I said, feeling chills run through my body.

“I’m sorry you’re ill. I should’ve insisted Dr. Cullen let us go home,” he said shaking his head, obviously disappointed in himself. “Edward—we would have gotten sick if we had gone home too remember?” I sighed, “Fate has dealt us an unlucky set of cards, that’s what Quince would say,” He sighed, “We’ll just have to see how the game is played, won’t we mother?” he asked in a quiet whisper before he began to cough horribly yet again, only this time blood clots came up too as he coughed, and coughed. And coughed....

“Edward!” The moment I saw the blood in his hand, I thought of Eddie how he laid still in the bed as a dead man. I looked at my son’s face, his beautiful, loving face, shocked and for once, scared.

“Mother, what’s wrong with me?” he asked his hand shaking as he looked at the blood in his hand. I stood up instantly, leaping to his side with the damp cloth in hand. “Nothing dearest, you’re fine,” I assured him as I wiped his hand clean, clean and pale. “Lay down sweetheart,” I sighed, sitting on his bedside and humming a quiet lullaby.

“Is the doctor still here?” Edward asked his eye closed. “I think Dr. Cullen only works in the evenings Edward, his shift ended at eight this morning...”

“What time is it now?” he asked trying to hold on to his consciousness. “It’s about two in the afternoon.

A pained look crossed his face, I didn’t know what it was for, what thought had entered his mind but I gave my comforting smile as I rang for a nurse who could give Edward some bit of medicine—some hope of healing, hope for living.

I think she gave me sleeping tonic. The instant that Edward fell asleep, not coughing but almost as though hew as entering a dreamless slumber, I too slipped between the waves of reality, where I was lost from the world as the fire of the influenza spread within my body.