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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!

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64. Chapter 64

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Because how suddenly the pain stops,

It is a long, long process. It may be mid-evening by the time it is finally done. The air is cooler and the sky outside the cracks between the slats of my poor house dark as the boards themselves.

“There. One more time, Esme. Just one more.”

In the third or fourth hour of labor, the formality caused by respect this woman had for someone educated like me wore off. I’m no more Mrs. Cullen than she is Mrs. Coveny.

“Just one, Eleanor?”

“Just one.”

I obey, and there is a gasp from the watching girls. “I see it! Miss Esme, Miss Esme, I see it!”
“The head, right there. Almost done, Esme. Good job! You’ve been so brave.”

The pain is wearing off, though I feel like the entire inside of my body is bleeding and torn. Yet there’s another euphoria reaching that as she reaches for the baby and pulls it from him. I do not feel as she cuts the cord between us… I do not sense it as we cease to be one person and become two. Perhaps it is because we are still connected—I have no one closer to me than this child.

“Congratulations, Esme. It’s a boy.”

“What’s his name? Miss Esme?”

“Miss Esme?”

The seriousness of the girls has worn off suddenly, replaced by extreme excitement. Why do I get the feeling they will have bragging rights on the playground for the remainder of eternity? I smile up at them weakly. I’d actually not chosen a name yet, but of course it occurs to me in an instant. It is unbelievably natural, as a matter of fact.

“Carlisle, after my late husband.” A little lie, but mostly the truth. As far as the child will ever know, he is named for his father.

“It’s a beautiful name,” Mandy says. “You really loved his pa, didn’t you?”

The trouble with children, even old ones like her, is how very, very much they see. “Yes. I did,” I answer simply. I take a deep breath, steadying myself. I can feel exhaustion and pain still. But they mean nothing to me. There is only one drive in my life now. “May I hold him?”

“He’s all of a mess,” Eleanor warns.

“I don’t care.” It was the honest truth.

“Here he is. Your son.” She hands him to me. He is so warm and soft and delicate in my arms. His tiny face is covered in blood. His skin is red and blotchy.

But God, he looks like Carlisle’s son. Bizarrely so. He has the same pale blonde hair, just a few strands of it shining like gold in the nonexistent light, the same fair, fair skin beneath the bloody pallor, the same perfect features. His little round body sits softly in my arms.

He gives a loud wail, and I pull him against my breast, cradling him there. He quiets.

“I love you, Carlisle,” I whisper, and almost laugh aloud at the irony. But the tenderness of the moment stops me.

I hold my son in my arms.

When you no longer fall alone,