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Forgiveness is Divine

Summary:
This is much like those overly-written stories about Bella's vampire life and such. I just thought I'd do my interpretation of it, mainly because I was bored as anyting. One hundred years later, Bella is moving back to Forks with her own family. They go to Forks High School and run into some strangers (to the rest of her family) that Bella never thought she'd run into again (with one addition).


Notes:


2. Chapter 2: Mark the Grave

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 2970   Review this Chapter

He stopped dead in his tracks when his gaze met mine. His eyes were like butterscotch, the lightest possible gold. I thought that when he’d left Forks he would never come back – much less while I was there. But here he was, standing just a few feet away, and here I was, my mind running in confused circles.

“Bella.” He whispered my name as his breath left his lungs in a startled gasp. He wasn’t calling me, but simply recognizing that it was I who sat in this rickety school chair.

The girl (whom I still did not recognize) gave him a sharp nudge to the back, and he started walking again. His eyes did not leave mine as he walked down the aisle, sitting down next to the girl he’d entered with.

And with a shock I realized he was sitting next to me (well, across the aisle from me) – so close that I could touch him. And where there had once been confusion, there was now anger and hatred. I snapped my head forward as the teacher started talking, and did not look over at him for the next hour of class.

Near the end, with ten minutes before the bell to start homeroom, a folded piece of notebook paper hit my desk with a soft thump. It was folded in half twice, creased perfectly, and had my name written in neat, cursive handwriting on the front.

I glanced at him momentarily before looking down at the note as I unfolded it. On the first line of the otherwise blank paper was a single sentence, written in the same perfect handwriting as on the front.

Who is he?

I looked back over at Edward, and he motioned towards Zach. My anger resurfaced, and I rolled my eyes and glared. I stood up suddenly, my chair scraping against the tile loudly. The teacher stopped mid-sentence and looked at me, raising her eyebrow.

“Is there a problem, Isabella?”

“Nope. No problem here. Just throwing something away.”

“She prefers Bella,” a musical voice called from somewhere near me. I turned my head slowly to glare at him, ripping the paper easily between my hands.

“How would you know? I don’t even know you,” I said curtly, turning and heading for the trash can in the back of the room. When I spun back around, his gaze met mine once more, and I picked up a trace of hurt in his butterscotch eyes. I sat down in my seat with a huff.

The bell rang, and everyone turned to talk to people around them. I turned my back towards Edward and looked at Zach, waiting for him to say something.

“What was that all about?” That wasn’t what I was hoping to hear him say. “Who is that guy?”

“He’s…nobody.” I hoped he heard that.

“He doesn’t look like nobody. Do you know him from somewhere?”

“I used to know him a long time ago. But that was nearly a century ago, and it was his decision to leave, not mine.”

“What-” I cut him off.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Across the aisle from me, I heard Edward speaking with the girl in a low voice, trying, I suspected, not to let me hear. But I was a vampire now, with acute senses and perfect hearing.

“Who is she?” The girl’s voice was sharp, and high pitched like bells. Out of the corner of my eye, I surveyed her like a lioness would survey its prey.

She was short, yet taller than me by at least an inch, with the same shade of hair as mine, that was just an inch or two longer. Her eyes were the same shade of gold as Edward’s – which was similar to mine, except that I’d hunted earlier than him and they were darker gold – and her skin the same shade as his, one shade darker than piano keys. Her lips were full and pink, and her cheeks rosy and soft. She was beautiful, and I realized she must be my replacement.

“She’s just someone I used to know,” he replied.

“And she’s a vampire?”

“Yes. Like us, she drinks animal blood.”

“Oh.” The girl stopped there, falling silent. Her puffy pink lips pursed together into a hard line, showing her distaste.

Fifteen minutes later, another bell rang, signaling the end of homeroom. There was a flurry of students as they tried to escape through the small doorways, leaving just Zach and I, and Edward and his pet.

I threw my bag over my shoulder and grabbed Zach’s hand, yanking him out of the classroom. Edward and the girl followed silently behind, the girl strangely on edge, like she sensed something bad was coming.

When out of the doorway, I stalked off down the hallway, away from Zach and, so I thought, Edward as well. A strong hand grasped my arm, spinning me around to face him.

“What do you want with me?” I spat, showing my anger in my eyes.

“I want to apologize. I-”

“I don’t forgive you. You left me before, and that was your last chance. I don’t give second chances – wait, allow me to correct myself, third chances.”

“But I have a good excuse this time!”

“I don’t take excuses. At least man up to your mistakes, Edward.”

“Bella, I-”

“Don’t even start. I don’t have time to listen to your pathetic excuses. I’ve moved on. And apparently, so have you.” I made it clear I was referring to that girl he was with.

“Who, Lila? She’s just someone we picked up when we moved to Alaska. She hasn’t replaced you.”

“And, what, it’s supposed to be a coincidence that she looks almost exactly like me? Face it, I’ve moved on, you’ve moved on, and your family has moved on.” I turned away from him, striding down the hall. He caught my arm again, but this time I tugged away from his grasp and spun around to face him of my own accord.

“Leave me alone. I don’t need you anymore. Just like you didn’t need me.”

“Bella, I love you. I still do.”

“NO YOU DON’T!” I screamed, causing the annoying chatter of the students to cease. All eyes were on us now, as they waited for something to happen. “YOU DON’T NOW, AND YOU DIDN’T BEFORE. THAT’S WHY YOU LEFT ME. THAT’S WHY YOU REPLACED ME.”

“I didn’t mean to leave you like that, I-”

“You didn’t mean to leave me? What the hell do you take me for, Edward?”

“I had no choice!”

“Yeah, right.”

He started to say something else, but I was already walking away, covering my ears like a child. I didn’t want to listen to anymore, and I wasn’t going to.

When lunch rolled around, I was silent, even as Megan and Amy bickered between themselves and Zach tried to get my attention. I stared out the window, blocking everyone out. Even when a shadow suddenly fell over me, and I felt his presence behind me, I tuned it out. Well, I tried.

“Bella?” I pretended to ignore that sweet, velvety voice that came from behind me.

“Get away from her,” Zach growled, suddenly defensive. He, like everyone else in the school, had seen, and heard, our performance earlier today.

“I just wanted to-”

“She doesn’t want to talk to you.”

“You can leave a message, if you want,” Megan piped up excitedly (she hadn’t been downstairs when the fight had happened, therefore didn’t know who he was).

“I just wanted to apologize.”

“Didn’t you hear her? She doesn’t want to forgive you. Now get away from her.” Zach stood up, clenching his fists as if ready to fight Edward.

“I didn’t mean to hurt her, I-”

“I was the one that found her.” Zach started yelling – and although the student body would have gotten a kick out of this, they were too loud to hear or even notice (though I was sure they would notice if it turned physical; humans never changed. “I found her, broken and alone when you left her. I was the one that saved her, and took her in. You don’t know how helpless she was without you.”

“I left her to protect her!” Edward was yelling too now. This seemed to startle Zach, and his mouth snapped shut. “They – you don’t know what they were going to do to her if I didn’t leave her! They threatened, and there was no way I could have objected. I left her to protect her, just like I had the first time.”

“Go away, Edward. Leave my family alone. Take your lies with you, because we’re not giving you our sympathy.” They all seemed startled to hear me speak.

~

When we pulled into the drive way at our new house, I didn’t say anything, but started walking away. They didn’t stop me, knowing I had a good excuse to want to be alone. I could have started running, but I didn’t, since running made me happy, and I just didn’t want to be happy right now.

Somewhere ahead, a metal gate creaked as it stood ajar and the wind blew it open and closed. Above the gate was a sign made of wrought iron, and from here, I couldn’t tell what it said. As I got closer, I made out the word “Forks” and a large letter ‘C’.

I turned and stared up at the sign, now just below it. The ‘C’ was the first letter of ‘Cemetery’, and it took me a minute to realize the words went together, to spell one whole phrase. Forks Cemetery.

Without realizing what I was doing, I pushed open the gate, and it protested with a metallic creak. I walked slowly past the hundreds of cement tributes that stuck up out of the earth like flowers, reaching towards a merciless sun. The years etched onto them progressed slowly, starting from the eighteen hundreds that flowed into the nineteen hundreds, which flowed into those from the twentieth century that opened into the newer ones from the last century – the twenty first. I stopped at one that was rather large, with intricate designs of flowers and ribbons etched into the cool marble stone.

The name read “Bella Swan” dated with September 13th, 1989September 10th, 2008and beneath it was one phrase that stretched onto two lines. “Beloved Daughter, your memory lives on within us.

I didn’t realized until after I’d read it twicethat it was my headstone, with my name and my date of death. Lightly, I touched the cold marble, and my head was filled with a tearful scene.

Rain poured from the sky, and people in black with umbrellas stood around a wooden casket. I recognized Charlie, whose tears streaked down his face silently. Beside him was Renee, who sobbed loudly in Phil’s arms as he rubbed her back. Jacob and Billy stood off to the side, faces grave. But in Jacob’s, I detected a hint of anger. The minister of Forks stood behind the closed casket that was laden with roses and other flowers.

“We are gathered here to day to lie to rest Isabella,” some one in the crowd corrected him and he cleared his throat, “Bella Marie Swan – beloved daughter, friend, and classmate. Her life was pure, filled with love and exuberance, cut short by a dreadful mistake.

“God deals a cruel hand, taking those before they are ready to go. He works in mysterious ways, having his own reasons and his own rules. We do not know why, but we do know this: wherever she is, Isa-ahem- Bella is safe from harm. Wherever she is, she is with Him, looking down on us as we speak.” He looked up at the cloudy sky as he spoke, and everyone followed his gaze. He raised his hands toward the heavens and spoke again. “May she forever rest in peace. Amen.” The crowd followed with a chorus of “Amen’s”.

I was brought back to the present, cursing my power to hell. I didn’t want to see that. I didn’t want to see how many people I’d hurt by making the wrong decision. I didn’t want to see my family and friends cry over me. I didn’t want to see who I’d left behind for him, or who I could have shared my life with, had I not made that decision. I didn’t want to see whose hearts I’d broken needlessly, all for him.

I looked at the smaller headstone beside mine, with faded writing. The stone had been of poorer quality, crumbing at the edges and cracking straight through the faded name. I had to put my face right up beside the stone and squint just to read it.

Charlie Franklin Swan” My breath stuck in my throat. I read on “January 31st, 1968 – June 23rd, 2038” Below it said “Beloved Father, Friend, and Police Chief.

If I’d ever regretted my decision before, I regretted it now. I wished I had been there to lay my father to rest. I wished I had been there to think of something better to put on his headstone. I wished I had been there to shell out the money to get him a better tombstone, made out of a more durable stone. I wished I had been there to cry as they lowered his casket into the ground. Most of all, I wished I had been there to know what he died of.

If I had been there, I would have paid any price to get his tombstone made out of marble. I would have paid any price to get something more poetic written in the marble. I would have thought of something better to write besides “Beloved Father, Friend, and Police Chief.” I would have gotten pretty designs put in the marble. I would have been there as they filled the hole with dirt and cried my eyes out. I would have been there every day after to leave flowers by his grave and speak to him out loud as if he could hear me.

Now that I thought of it, I would have gotten something written on his headstone that portrayed who he was. I remembered a line from a song that always reminded me of him, even though it wasn’t even the type of music he’d even consider listening to. The line went something like, “I know it’s sad that I never gave a damn about the weather, but it never gave a damn about me.” And I might have put something about fishing and how he didn’t care whether it was raining buckets or not, that he’d fish when he wanted. I’d say something about how stubborn he was, even when the doctor said it was bad for his health to go fishing during a storm.

But I was sure that who ever picked the phrase to put on his stone didn’t give a damn about him. Or maybe he’d put it in a will, that he wanted the cheapest headstone and that boring phrase. Or maybe he hadn’t wanted a phrase at all, but his friends had disobeyed his wishes and put a meager tribute to his memory below his name.

Momentarily forgetting myself, I raised my hand to touch the crumbling stone. I was pulled from the present and taken to the past, where the sun shone on an inappropriate day, at an inappropriate time.

Billy was closest to the casket, seated in his wheelchair with Jacob (who hadn’t aged) standing behind him. Renee was there – surprisingly – but she wasn’t crying. Her gray hair was up in a tight bun off her shoulders, and she stood stiffly, as if she couldn’t wait to get this thing over with. I wondered vaguely why Phil wasn’t there. A few of the policemen I recognized from when I was a child and Charlie had drug me along with him to the station stood off to the side, in uniform and with their hats in their hands and their heads bowed.

“We are gathered here today to lay to rest Chief Charlie Franklin Swan. He lived a long life, but to say it was entirely happy would be a lie. We all know that our friend Charlie was never the same after his little girl died.” My mother blew her nose, and the priest continued. “But the life he lived before her death was a simple one, but he was content. And though he grieved over young Isabella,” no one corrected him this time, “I’m sure he relished in the memories of her life, not her death. May he forever rest in peace. Amen.” The crowd followed with a chorus of “Amen”.

I was brought back to the present abruptly, and I realized I was curled up on the cold, hard ground, crying tearless cries. I don’t know how long I stayed that way, but I was aware of the minutes slipping by, though they felt like hours.

Some time later I felt someone lift me off the ground with cold, strong arms and carry me carefully back to the house. I cried and cried, but instead of crying myself to sleep, I cried myself into unconsciousness.