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beautiful soul

Summary:
Bella has finally realized she is terrified to become a vampire. She is leaving to think over what she really wants her life with Edward to be. Bella does go away, but she finds out a secret about Edward that takes her far from Forks. Can Bella solve the mystery about his past and take away Edward's demons? If so, they could really be truly happy. The first chapter is a bit slow - stick with it - it gets better - I promise! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THIS IS OFFICIALLY THE LAST CHAPTER. I HAVE ALSO WRITTEN AN EPILOGUE HOW WILL EDWARD REACT WHEN BELLA TELLS HIM ABOUT HER DREAM AND SEEING ELISABETH? THANK YOU TO ALL WHO READ MY STORY - THANK YOU ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR REVIEWS!


Notes:


1. THOUGHTS

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1854   Review this Chapter

THOUGHTS

Graduation from Forks High School was two weeks away and for about a month a thought had been pushing its way into my brain. No matter how many times I tried to ignore it, rationalize it, or argue another side of it, I knew I had to face it.

It started out as a ridiculous notion that was easy to laugh away, but lately. . . lately it all started to make sense. I was finally realizing that I had to leave, just for a little while, to think things through concerning my future with Edward.

I was leaving to decide if I would become a vampire.

There were two reasons I had to leave. First, and most importantly, I had to show Edward that I was serious about my decision. He had promised we would discuss my changing again after graduation, but already he was making excuses.

He began by saying we should take a trip this summer before I decided. Then he said I should wait to see what schools I got accepted to. He could keep this up for years. I had to convince him I was mature enough to know what I wanted, and if I decided to be a vampire, (that word still made me shiver), that I would never regret it, that I would never resent him for the life we would then lead.

The second reason, the one that I would never admit to Edward, was that I was afraid. Terrified actually. Is being a vampire what I really wanted? When I was with Edward it was so easy to say yes, but on those nights when he was hunting and I was in the dark alone in my room. . . thoughts crept in. . . the intense pain of changing, drinking blood, urges I might not be able to control, and forgetting my life.

Would I really forget Charlie and Renee? Could I really forget Jacob? My life up until I came to Forks wasn't anything spectacular, but to forget it all. Would that really happen?

What about having a home? The Cullens had to move often. They hadn't been back to Forks in decades. They'd had to wait until everyone who remembered them was dead. They couldn't get very involved with the people where they lived, they couldn't afford to let anyone get too close. Would I just get attached to a place and then we would have to leave?

There was one other thing. . . Most eighteen year olds didn't think about it much, but I knew someday I would. What about being a mother? What about having a family of my own? If I chose this life I would never have a baby or be a Grandmother. Things I had just sort of taken for granted that happened in just about everyone's life would never happen for me.

My only other option was to stay with Edward as a human. He had told me over and over this is what he wanted. But could I do that? I just didn't believe it would ever work.

So tonight, I would be telling him I was leaving. I hated to be away from him for any length of time, but I hoped this would be worth all the serious effort I would be putting into the decision that would affect the rest of my life. The rest of our lives.

That night, in my kitchen, Edward and I finished studying for our final test in Trig. Having Edward for a study partner was just about the best and the worst thing. He knew all the answers, of course, and that would be helpful if I didn't sit close enough to smell him, and he didn't run his nose along my neck just behind my ear and kiss me on the neck. Somewhere in there I think I got everything straight for the test.

At exactly 9:00 p.m. Charlie, not so tactfully, said it was time for Edward to leave. I thought how much I would hate to say good-bye to him if I weren't going to see him again in 5 minutes in my room. It made me think how much I would hate to say good-bye after graduation for those few tortuous weeks.

I got ready for bed, brushing through my hair absent-mindedly as my thoughts kept turning to what I would say to Edward. The last thing I would ever want to do was hurt him, and I didn't want him to question the way I felt about him. I had to do this right.

I went to tell Charlie good night. As I saw him sitting in his old chair I realized how things in my life were changing so quickly now. I was suddenly struck with an overwhelming sense of love for this dad of mine. He seemed to love having me here. Which meant it must have been really hard for him to see me for only two weeks in the summer every year until I was 16. I was so thankful he hadn't just decided to forget he had a daughter.

He had been a great father all things considered. Even when he was protective I knew it was because he loved me. I hopped in front of his view of the T.V. and said, "Good night, Dad. I love you."

I don't think I'd told him that since I was like nine. He raised his eyebrows and lifted his head. He said, "Bella, I love you too." and he stood up and gave me a hug.

Feeling a little embarrassed I told him I would see him in the morning and ran upstairs.

I walked into my room and shut my door without turning on my light. My eyes found my bed, and there he was. Could I ever get used to this beautiful creature holding out his arms to me, welcoming me in? I relaxed into his lap and his arms enfolded me. I looked up to see him staring at me with a look that I didn't recognize.

I furrowed my brow and reached up to touch his face. I ran my thumb under his eyes and then over his lips. He put his hand over mine on his cheek and said, "Bella, something is bothering you and I need you to tell me what it is."

I thought I had hid it so well, but I guess it's hard to hide anything from your true love. It actually made me smile that he would be that sensitive to me, and that he made it easier for me start in to what I wanted to say.

I took a deep breath and said, "You are my love, for now and always." It came out with such emotion that I felt tears in the corners of eyes.

He could sense more was coming and he swallowed hard, but did not say anything. I could see his jaw tightening.

One more big breath and it all started to spill out.

"I have some very big decisions to make in the next few months and I need to tell you what I have been thinking." One more big breath. "I need to go away. . . by myself. . . for two, maybe three weeks after graduation to get my head clear on what I really want.

I looked into his eyes and I knew his look mirrored the one I gave to him in the forest that horrible September day when he said good-bye to me.

Crap. He had misunderstood. I immediately sat up on my knees and placing my hands on each side of his face I said with complete conviction, "Every decision I need to make involves me being with you. I will never leave you. I will be here as long as you want me."

I paused a moment looking down, and then looked up and said, "I'm leaving because I need to get it straight in my head and my heart if I am going to stay with you as a human or . . . not."

Edward stared at me for a moment and then his eyes softened. I could see him relax as he said, "I am relieved to see you putting some serious thought into all of this, but why do you have to go away to do it?"

I melted back into his arms again as I said, "Because, as long as I am here and close to you my answer will always be "Change me". I need to clear my head and think things through slowly and seriously.

I pulled his chin down to me, "When I make my final decision I want you to be confident that I weighed the good and the bad. I don't want you to be afraid that one day I'll regret the decision I ultimately make. I want to be absolutely sure."

I emphasized these last words. "And when I come back we will discuss this together and then decide from there what we should do."

Edward silently rocked me for several minutes. Then very quietly he said, "Where are you going?"

I paused before answering, "I'm. . . not sure. . . I should tell you."

"Why?" he asked flatly.

"Because I need to be alone and I am afraid you'll follow to make sure I don't trip and fall into a large hole or something," I said.

He chuckled, "It will drive me crazy wondering if you are safe, but I promise I will give you your space. I will not interfere and I will not follow you. But Bella, I have to know where you will be."

I slid back out of his arms and turned to face him. "I am going to Florida to spend some time with my mom. I don't really have a set schedule. I may go off by myself and stay at a place that Phil owns by the beach."

Edward swallowed hard. Then he took my face and kissed me on the forehead. Then he brought his forehead down to touch mine. He whispered, "So far away."

I heard him sigh and then he said, "Bella, you need to take all the time you need on this. If a few weeks isn't long enough, then take longer."

‘Thank you," was all I could manage to get out. How I loved this angel of mine. I was so thankful he understood so well.

It took me a while to fall asleep that night. Edward held me so tight and we stared into each other's eyes with just the glow from my clock. Finally, Edward began to hum my lullaby as he ran his hand down the length of my hair over and over again until I fell asleep.

I don't think I ever really understood what night was like for him. While I lay there asleep, what did he do? Where did his thoughts go?