Don't Tell a Soul
As he awaits the Volturi's decision with regards to his assisted suicide request, Edward writes to his family to say goodbye. What do they think, when they finally receive the letters, days later? Just added: Edward's letter to Bella when he believed her to be dead.
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Maybe you'll comprehend this better than the others, but I know it will also be more difficult for you. My choices were never your fault - not when I let the monster rule me, all those years ago, and not now, when I've finally found the courage to destroy the monster forever.
All these years we've spent together, you were so many things to me. You taught me and guided me, loved me and forgave me. Until today, I thought nothing could hurt as badly as losing you, but I was being foolish, of course. You were never lost. You just weren't mine. It wasn't until Bella that I really began to understand why that had come to pass. I'm sorry for my ignorance. I know it added to your guilt over the years, when all I wanted was to somehow make it easier for you.
Esme will need you to be strong through this. I know that suicide is a touchy issue for her, and rightly so. But I am not taking this action lightly or without consideration. I am not walking off the cliff in a pain-induced daze. You know me, Carlisle. This is the right thing. Without you, I was unhappy. Without Bella, I prefer not to exist. You understand this, I know you do. I need you to.
I'm placing my hope in you. I've never believed in your God, not since the day I woke to this life, but today I'll believe. Today I'll go willinging in the hope that wherever she is, He will accept me there, too - because I lived this life as best I could. I made mistakes, but I made good choices, too. If you say that is enough, I'll believe, just this once.
Goodbye, Carlisle. Thank you for all you've done for me. Thank you for your kindness to Bella. Thank you for everything.
The day it arrived, Carlisle put the letter in a book he'd taken from Edward's room the night he'd left, eighty years previous. It was just a Biology text he'd given to him, in which Edward had written his name - that perfect, near calligraphy handwriting. Edward Cullen. It was the first time, to Carlisle's knowledge, that Edward had used his name, rather than Masen. The book was on the shelf in his office with many other similar texts from the same era, and Edward had never missed it. It was unlikely he ever would.
Though the words were burned into his memory, and blazed more brightly than anything else his perfect mind had memorized over the centuries, he sometimes opened that book when the house was empty, just to see them again. When he was reminded of the guilt he used to feel for choosing Esme over Edward, the letter comforted him. Because Edward was happy, now, with Bella. And on the occasions when a bit of sadness helped to ease the guilt as well, he felt that was just, and stared at the paper a bit longer, remembering, and thankful to have his family safe and whole once more.