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The Falling

In the action itself, she is weightless and free. The flight is not to be feared, only the impact. A story on the life of Esme Cullen. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Banner By incredible Iris!

I may submit this to the official site. What do you think?

48. Chapter 48

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And fall and fall- haven’t I said this already?

Charles has my arm in a vice-like grip. I smile and suffer it as I walk with proper tiny steps to send him away. Away, far away…

Thank God.

I wear the mask of the loving wife who dreads his departure. I have no choice. No one is on my side against him, not my parents. I tried to tell them, back in the early days. That was helpful.

“So, Esme, how are things?”

I pour my mother some tea and swallow deeply. How do I say this? “Not… not well.”

“Oh? Whatever could be wrong, dear?”

I gulp again, quietly setting the kettle on the table. “This.” I roll up the sleeve of my dress, showing the ugly bruise from last night.

“I see.” My mother pauses for a second. “You must feel awful, dear.”

Yes, as a matter of fact I do, since my arm is broken. I haven’t the courage to go to a doctor. He’d kill me for that, I’m certain. And besides, I don’t know if I could tolerate another hospital, bitingly familiar but without Carlisle so empty, such a lie to torment my broken heart… but for some reason I don’t think my mother means the physical pain. “Yes, rather.”

She smiles sympathetically. “Oh, don’t worry. Every marriage has hard days at the beginning. You just need to get used to one another and you’ll be happy. Don’t worry, Esme.”

I stare. This is not some bump in the road. Charles is abusive. He hurts me. Clearly, this is not registering. “Mother, this isn’t the first time. I have other marks, other bruises…”

“No need to display them. Listen to me. Be a good wife, obey your husband, be cheerful and kind and he’ll soon be less harsh with your mistakes.”

Mistakes. Of course it was all my mistakes. All my fault. I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t a correction for some error, it was brutality, plain and straight and simple.


“Now, dear. Just remember what I told you. And everything will be fine.”

I knew better than to bother my father. He’d never contradict one of Mother’s orders, and she’s quite determined.

I smile up at Charles. “I’ll miss you so much, dear.”

“Don’t, Esme. I’ll be home before you know I’m gone.”

I can’t quite stifle the shudder. “Wonderful,” I lie.

“I love you, my Esme.”

“And I love you.”

I kiss him chastely on the lips, and he shoulders his bag. “Well, I’m off to serve my country. Good-bye.”

“Good-bye!” I call. And good riddance.

He walks away from me. I watch him go, and he doesn’t turn back. There are no haunting parting words. Everything is normal, is average. We look like a real marriage, not the ridiculous farce we really are.

He leaves me alone, finally, safe, without him there.

A weight lifts from my shoulders as the smoking train winds into the gray distance.

Redundancy and agony are a lovely combination, are they not?