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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As she moved, lightening quick because it was still a novelty even after so many years, to place the CD collection in boxes, she smiled. They’d listened to most of these discs in the last decade, and she remembered what they’d been doing as each song played. Every CD cover brought to mind a happy memory, and her recall was perfect, now.
It was just as she’d reached the end – the few discs Edward had not yet played for her, that a sheet of paper came out of one of the jewel cases. She caught it before it could flutter to the floor, frowning. She examined the CD – obviously home made, with no documentation other than the folded paper. Then she unfolded the page.
I have wronged you so completely. It was utterly unforgivable of me to bring you into this world of violence and pain, and yet I see now that the worst horror I perpetrated was to push you back out of it against your will. I have discovered that you and Carlisle were correct. I have a soul. It burns already, as a well-deserved punishment for the pain I caused you, so I am not unprepared for what probably awaits me in the next world.
Still, if there is any chance at all to see you again, I will take it. Continuing in this world with only memories of you is intolerable. Every moment – every time I see your face behind my eyelids – the pain is worse. When you were alive, I could tell myself I was enduring it for your safety, to protect you from what I am. Now there is no reason compelling enough to keep me here. All the world is darkness and pain without you, and will be for all eternity. I can only hope that as you left this world, there was enough charity left in your heart for me that you could someday forgive me for the abhorrent lies I uttered.
In Carlisle’s heaven, you must know the truth of everything. You must know the depth of dishonesty I reached in trying to part from you. You must know all the sins I have committed. Your heart is so generous. I can only believe that you are waiting for me. To believe otherwise is a more profound hell than any lake of fire I can conceive.
There is no way to express my regret that does not sound trite, so I will not say that I’m sorry. But I will make you this vow. If there is any way for a monster to pass over into where you are, I will find it. I will find you, and do the right thing by you somehow. I swear it.
I swear it.
Bella had heard Edward’s footsteps on the stairs, and knew that he was standing in the doorway watching her read, but she didn’t look up until she’d read the whole thing twice. When she finally met his eyes, she swallowed hard and immediately looked down again. She carefully refolded the letter and placed it back into the jewel case, which she stowed gently with the other CDs.
As soon as she straightened up again, Edward had his arms around her. Neither of them spoke. Both were contemplating the many occasions they’d come close to losing one another forever. The horror of it all seemed even more profound to Bella, now that her concept of forever had been irrevocably altered. She buried her face in his shoulder, thankful that there would be no tears to damage the nice shirt he’d received from Carlisle for Christmas last year. And the thought made her giggle unexpectedly. She pulled away to notice Edward frowning at her, and realized that it must look like she was laughing at his pain, which was weighing down his features even now, when it was only a memory.
“After all this time, I’m still just relieved that it can’t make me cry anymore,” she whispered. Then she smiled as the care-worn expression fell from his face. They beamed at each other for a long moment before they were interrupted.
“Come, on Edward! Bella doesn’t care, do you, Bella? You like the jeep!” Emmett had pressed passed the boxes stacked near the door. Apparently, he’d gone to tell Rosalie that he’d let Edward win, and she’d sent him back to try again.
“Sure, Emmett. I love the jeep,” Bella said dryly, while Edward shook with silent laughter. He might not be able to hear her thoughts, but he knew she cared no more for the jeep than for the Aston Martin, or any of the other vehicles in the Cullen caravan. They smiled at one another for another long moment before Edward took her hand and led her downstairs after Emmett. They were leaving behind another town – another chapter in their story. But there was so much more to come.