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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.


85. Chapter 85

Rating 5/5   Word Count 614   Review this Chapter

“Claire, just so you know… I can hear what you’re thinking. All right? Just to warn you.”

She raises an eyebrow and thinks quite clearly, Then stop stalling, Isabella Cullen.

I respond, my name is Bella. Technically, Bella Swan, but I choose not to share that with Claire. After all, this is a lovely game of pretend. We’re lying to them, intentionally. And I don’t really mind. I can make believe everything is absolutely the way it should have been.

She really is, like me, good with weird. She doesn’t flinch at all when she realizes I’m thinking directly into her brain. She might have a problem if I knew I could change her ideas, but I decide to keep that detail to myself.

“In that case, I guess… look, I don’t know how to say this. And it hurts to even think about. I’ve never talked about it before.”

Spit it out.

I sigh and look at her. Her eyes are wide, intently curious. I continue, slowly. “I never chose to forgive Edward. Honestly, if I’d sat down and made a logical decision that first time, I might never have spoken to him again. He broke my heart into a thousand pieces because he was stubborn and selfless and stupid. But I didn’t have any choice.”

Her thoughts aren’t directed at me this time, so I try to ignore it, though I catch, I want him to have a choice… I know what it’s like not to.

I wonder what she means. I vaguely recall Jake defending the whole concept of the imprint, years ago. ‘Doesn’t Claire get a choice here?’

Not that it’s the same thing at all… her thoughts shift, toward a jumble of recollections, and I decide not to pry or pursue it.

“I loved him so much. Too much, maybe. And if my choices were living with him, for a while, not sure when he’d leave me again, and then being alone, or just plain being alone… Isn’t it obvious?”

For a moment, she is silent. Finally, she nods. “Yeah.”

“I forgave him. I had to.”

“But… Bella, Quil doesn’t blame me. He’s never angry, or even sad! He won’t let me apologize. He won’t let me tell him that it was a mistake. He won’t let me swear I’ll stay with him forever and I could never love anyone else. He won’t--”

Her arms are waving—she’s speaking almost too animatedly. I gently catch one of her wrists and lower it to her lap. She stops talking.

“I don’t let Edward feel guilty. He’d jump of a cliff if I’d let him-“ privately, I snort at the irony- “and I can’t live without him. Pretend the cases were reversed, for a minute. Would you forgive Quil, if he left you? For your own good.”

“But that’s not why I left him! I left him for my own good. It was selfish. And heartless. And cruel. And thoughtless!”

I’m not talking about you, Claire. “I’m talking about Edward and myself. But even if his motivation wasn’t totally pure, even if he left me…” I can’t bring myself to say it aloud. Instead, I share the thought. For another woman. Or because he got bored. Anything. “I would forgive him. Because I have no choice. Do you understand?”

Unwillingly, she nods. “Yeah.” And then she pauses, for just a second. “But I don’t understand… this probably makes no sense at all to you. But I can’t understand why he loves me. I know, the imprinting, but how am I supposed to deserve it?”