Saying Hello, Saying Goodbye
One night, when the wind howls and the sea is restless, Bella and Edward see each other again after twenty years. Despite their bond being gone, they will always remember.
Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belongs to Stephenie Meyer and her only. I'm the mind behind the plot in this case. A/N: I'm not one to write main-characters; I prefer minor ones. Either way, this was a challenge and I do appreciate all the feed-back I can get. Thank you for reading and for hopefully reviewing!
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2191 Review this Chapter
Saying Hello, Saying Goodbye
I thought I heard movements from behind me, but decided to ignore it. I was too caught up in my own thoughts, my eyes closed, enjoying the feel of the wind hit pleasantly against my cheeks. The allowance to drift off brought me to a place I had not visited for a long time… Memories I had chosen to repel, too excruciating to be remembered. My ears were filled with the faint noise of the waves crashing against the rainbow-colored stones of the shore. The darkness was enclosing me with a rather cold embrace and there was no red light behind my eyelids. The sun had shone enough for the day – it was twilight. The end of yet another day.
I kept the memories at bay as I sat there, drifting off, and feeling at ease for not having to deal with the untamed twins for a change. Sweet boys, but unbearable and I knew they had gotten that stubbornness from their father. I liked to think so. Jacob thought differently of course. I sighed in the night, still fighting with myself to keep the many memories and emotions at the edge. It was hard when I was alone. Much easier when I felt the warmth Jacob radiated. What always soothed me, no matter what. But lately, I had been feeling… Trapped? Stuck? I couldn’t tell. I just had so much to deal with. Decisions I still wondered about. No matter how late it was to take it back. But not that I wanted to change things. I just liked to wonder sometimes how it would have turned out to be if I’d not slept at night at all.
It was an unusually clear night. There were no clouds to obscure the fire of the stars and the moon beamed above, its gleam reflecting off the restless water. It was a peaceful scene and I was completely enthralled by it. And then I heard something again, and this time, I couldn’t help feel agitated. I knew that it wasn’t Jacob, because he wouldn’t deliberately scare me in the middle of the night. He didn't have such a horrid taste in humor. So, when I realized it couldn’t possibly be Jacob, I tensed.
I had no reason to, I supposed. There hadn’t been any murderous vampires in search for me for twenty whole years. And I doubted that the past would resurface after so many years ago. So, thinking perhaps that it might be William, who was a known sleep-walker, I turned rapidly, not wanting my son to be up and about.
And that was when my heart stopped. And I stopped breathing. It had to be a vision… I had been caught up in thoughts about vampires longer than necessary… It just could not be him. But someone – or something – that resembled every patch of skin stood in front of me, fully materialized. The bronze hair windblown; the marble lips, as pale and inviting as ever; and finally, the golden eyes, smoldering me to ashes.
I still wasn’t breathing and the lack of oxygen made my knees weaken, so I sat down again. He did not appear at my side as I knew he would have done twenty years ago. He stood still as the marble statue he was similar to. Despite the calm appearance, I knew he was hesitating and fighting an inner battle. It surprised me how every single emotion I had ever felt in his presence – and absence – reemerged in a matter of mere seconds. And how easily I found myself reading him. The emotions and memories that I had tried to keep at bay that night – and every day since I’d been nineteen – returned reluctantly to me and I choked. And then, the tears flooded over the brim of my eyes and I hated myself in that instant. I couldn’t even look at him before weeping like a baby.
“Don’t cry,” he said to me and I ignored him. I needed this I figured. I didn’t remember when it had been last that I’d have a good cry. He didn’t seem at ease – I noticed it from his posture – but I saw from the corner of my eye that he was heading toward me, ever so slowly.
I didn’t realize it was me who had uttered them till he stopped dead in his tracks. I didn’t even understand it at first – I wasn’t ready for this. How could I be? I had been hoping not to see him ever again. I had tried to repel them for a reason – I hated feeling guilty. I remember the day so clearly in my head. It had been another glum day in Forks, appearing to be like all others, though it was the day before the wedding. And I had been feeling… Trapped. And I had told him – that I couldn’t do it. I thought I’d been ready, but that that had been an illusion. I couldn’t say goodbye to everything that was familiar to me. Eternity, it turned out, was not what I wanted.
I hated remembering. I think his non-existent heart did break that day.
And the rest is history. He vanished from my life as he had done months previously. And that was it. Another end, but with a new beginning.
I returned to the present, to another reality with a loud thump. I was dizzy, my head placed between my legs. My hair fell on either side of my face, so he couldn’t read my expression. I was glad. He would have seen how ashamed I truly was. And I didn’t want him to hate me more than he already did.
I raised my head slowly, not wanting to throw up on the spot. The effect he had on me still was unbelievable. He was still surveying me with a look I couldn’t quite decipher. Anger, disappointment, longing? I didn’t want to guess either. He didn’t speak and I was grateful for the silence. But I realized I had to break the ice any minute now, so I was preparing a speech deep down in my head. I knew it was useless, but it was the only thing that allowed me to keep my head high.
“Why are you here?” I whispered and I knew he’d heard me as clearly as though I had whispered in his ear. His expression did not change, but I wasn’t expecting it to. Deep down somewhere I wished he would smile at me. That crooked smile that I had loved and found myself still loving. I heaved a sigh. I could not take it anymore. The darkness was compressing me from all sides of my body and I forgot to breathe yet again.
“Breathe, Bella,” he encouraged me and I tried. Deep breaths… One… Two… Three…
I did not repeat my question but glowered at him with what I hoped were both fuming and inquiring eyes. He raised both his hands and lowered his head. “You will get an answer,” he said. Then he raised his head again and observed me. I didn’t know what he wanted from me or why he looked at me with eyes full of… sorrow.
“You’re as beautiful as always,” he complimented in a slow, edgy voice and I snorted. He looked questioningly at me. He raised a perfect brow and looked puzzled.
“I’m thirty-eight,” I stated and he couldn’t help but smile now. He hid the smile from me and I was glad he did that. I didn’t think I could take it. Moments long gone were replaying themselves in a rapid speed at the front of my head. I remembered my fear for aging, remembered his promises, my promises. All broken and burned into dust.
“How are you?” he asked me then and I tried to suppress another snort. I didn’t know where this cockiness had appeared from. I supposed that he made me nervous. When I returned my gaze toward him (‘cause I had looked away when he asked how I was) I realized that something was not right. And it hit me.
“You have crossed the line,” I stated and he tilted his head slightly.
“It does no longer matter,” he told me and I believed him. Why, I didn’t know.
“So… Why are you here?” I asked again and he sighed in defeat. The tension in the air had now vanished and I felt genuine curiosity. I hadn’t seen him in years and there I was; now breathing normally and feeling rather… comfortable.
“Truthfully… I was curious. I wanted to see you,” he answered and I heard the honesty in his voice. I didn’t know what to do, feeling hopelessness embrace me. So many years had passed and I didn’t know what to do or say. It all felt wrong. Truth of the matter was that I yearned for his arms to wrap around me one final time, but I knew in my heart that it was no longer possible. I had walked too far down my path. I could not go back now.
“I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing as well,” I confessed and he nodded his head. What was he suppose to say?
“So, tell me. You’re a mother now?” He tried to sound casual, but there was something sharp in his voice that I could not identify. It felt weird too; him standing there, questioning me about my sons. I didn’t know why, but… I had been so close to start a life with him. And there I sat, probably millions of miles from where he lived now.
“Twins. William and Charlie. They’re unbelievably untamed,” I complained, but with a certain pride in my voice. Their black hair and hazel eyes appeared in my head and I smiled distantly.
“I see,” he said and smiled politely. I smiled back, unsure of what to say. But I found my voice and dared ask, “Where are you staying? And how’s the family?” I asked and blushed. I didn’t even know why, but it felt strange mentioning those I had let down so many years ago. Those who had been so close in becoming my family. I often found myself missing them, remembering everything about them. I tried to avoid thinking about Edward in those situations, but it’d been impossible. At the thought of the Cullens’, my heart had broken all over again.
“Alaska for now. I just returned there… And they’re fine. Keeping on living,” he said casually and smiled again.
“And… How are you?” I heard myself asking and it surprised me how badly I wanted an answer to that question.
“I’m fine. Managing,” he said and I felt my insides freeze. He was still mourning and the fact was agonizing. I knew I was too, but it was difficult for me. To return. To run back. It wasn’t even an option. Despite everything, I hated seeing him looking hurt. But I knew Edward did not come here expecting something. He knew me too well to even consider it. Jacob and the twins were my life now. And as much as I still loved Edward, I loved them more.
“I -” I began but he cut me off.
“It’s been different since you left, but I haven’t come here with expectations.” See, what did I tell you? “I just wanted to meet you again. I haven’t in a while,” he added and I nodded.
“I suppose I would’ve contacted you long ago had I known where you were… But it is for the better. Not seeing each other.” My forwardness surprised me. It seemed to surprise him too.
“You are right you know,” he said and chuckled. The sound was still musical, just as I remembered it. I dared to glance over at him and take him in. He was still seventeen, still deadly gorgeous and cold as ice. His beauty was nothing compared to the evening I had been enjoying until he came. Funny, how everything faded in comparison to him. And I hated it.
“It’s best if you leave, Edward,” I said then, not wanting to deal with this any longer. A heavy weight had been placed upon both my shoulders, compressing my chest, making my breaths come out as ragged sobs.
Again, he did not reach me. We both knew it was easier that way. For a second time that night, my tears blurred my vision and I hated myself for it.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered and he nodded his head. Not the crooked smile I loved – just the polite nod. I thought I was going to pass out.
“I love you, Bella.”I didn’t see his lips move, so it could as good as well be a figment of my imagination.
“I love you too,” I whispered back and fell down upon the smooth rock. I allowed myself to cry, the sobs overtaking me and making me tremble. The wind howled around me and drowned the petty sounds escaping my lips.
He was no longer there when I looked up. For all I knew, he could have been a ghost.