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Dream's Shadow

Summary:
This is my take on the over- and usually poorly- done plot. Edward leaves Bella again. She is changed and they meet again in the future. There will be a big twist! Requested by Iris. Banner by Iris!


Notes:
Try it! I know stories like this usually stink, but I thought I'd give it a try. I own nothing. Stephenie Meyer owns all.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 620   Review this Chapter

I knew. I always, always knew I wasn’t good enough. Why was I surprised it had come to this?

He’d never loved me. Or maybe he had. Really, it was more like… a fascination. That was it, a sick obsession. His life must be so much healthier since I’ve been removed from it. I have a brief mental picture of his brilliant glory standing up at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. “Hi, my name is Edward. I’ve been off Bella for two months.”

Two months. God, two months. Two months of waiting for them to come for me. But I can’t wait. I stink at waiting, always have.

I have to go and find them. And though the thought terrifies me, it is a relief. I cannot bear waiting for nothing.

Right now, nothing is what I am and what I have.

And there will never be anything more…

“I love you,” I whispered. He did not respond. I knew then.

“Isabella, I need to ask you something,” he began.

I would not allow him to be hurt. All his pain would become mine. That was how I loved him. I could not let him feel guilty, no matter the agony that would destroy me when he disappeared. “You don’t have to. I see it in your face.”

“You know?”

“Yes. And you don’t have to say it.”

“Thank you.”

“Anything. I lov-“

But I didn’t finish. That would hurt him. I could not allow him to be hurt.

“The others are in Italy already. They think you’re coming to, that we’re going to get married there. I’m sorry to deceive them, but I’m doing the right thing for myself, for once.”

“That’s all I want. You aren’t happy with me?”

“No.”

He was telling the truth. I was absolutely sure. It was not like last time. His eyes were their usual liquid light, but distant. There was no devotion in them.

“Then go. I forbid you to stay here where you’re miserable. Go away, far away. Don’t come back unless… don’t come back.” I couldn’t leave him a way back in, to get himself stuck with useless me.

“Isabella, thank you.”

He moved to go. “Wait,” I whispered. “I won’t keep you long. Just take this, please. I can’t stand to keep it… but leave the pictures.” I slipped off my- his mother’s- ring. He nodded and took it. He did not protest. And then I was sure.

Any hope was crushed. I had to keep the realization hidden, though. He could not ever know how much I was hurt. That would hurt him.

He smiled my favorite smile. The beauty of it stabbed deep. “I have loved you more than I thought possible. I shall grieve for what could have been- but know that I do only what I must. There are others for me, I think, better ones. Not that you aren’t a dear, lovely person- I just am different. I don’t mean to sound vain, but it never should have been.”

True, maybe. I nodded because he needed my assent and I couldn’t bring myself to verbalize agreement.

“Good-bye, Isabella.”

“Will you do me a favor? Say my name one more time.”

“Bella. Good-bye.”

Those syllables, entirely without affection, were the last.

He disappeared, ridiculously perfect. I knew I would never see him again. “Good-bye, Edward,” I whispered. It was the last time I would ever speak his name.

The pain overcame, but I forestalled it with a thought. I knew what I needed.

“Jacob.”