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!
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The taxi took me to a house that was small, but well cared for. There were flowers planted out front and a wind chime on the front porch.
I took a deep breath. I knocked softly and a small elderly woman answered the door. There was a screen door that was still shut. She looked at me expectantly. "Hello, Mrs. Dutton, I am Isabella Swan." She smiled and let me in.
"Please," she said, "Call me Sarah." She was very small. She walked hunched over and she seemed quite feeble, but out of her eyes I could sense that she was excited to see me.
The door opened into her living room which was decorated in an older fashion. She directed me to a large couch. In the room was another couch and a piano. There were many pictures of family on the walls.
"Thank you so much for seeing me on such short notice," I said.
"I am very pleased to speak to you about my family." She replied. She then took a seat on the couch across from me.
I decided to jump right in. "Sarah," I began, "Are you related to the Masens?"
"I was related to Annabelle, but not to the Masens," she answered matter of factly.
She could see my confused expression and she smiled reassuringly.
"Perhaps I better start at the beginning," she said.
Her eyes got a far away look in them. She was picturing images that I couldn't see.
"My mother was Ruth Bahn. She was a German immigrant that came to America with her parents when she was 16. Life was very hard for them. My mother worked very hard doing odd jobs just to help the family buy food. One of the families she worked for was the Masens." My ears perked up at the name.
"When my mother was 19, she met a handsome young man with whom she fell madly in love. She was very naïve and innocent. The man promised marriage and she gave her heart to him. My mother became pregnant. When she told this young man the news, he left and she never saw him again."
Sarah shook her head and put her hand up to the side of her face. "My mother was beside her self with grief and desperation. She had nowhere to turn. Her father had all but disowned her when he found out."
"Luckily, my mother had become very close to Elisabeth Masen," Sarah smiled. "To my mother, she was such a fascinating person."
I leaned forward in my chair. "What did your mother say about Elisabeth?" I came across much too anxious.
Sarah continued. Well, first of all, she was a very accomplished pianist." I sucked in air and Sarah stared at me. "Please continue," I said.
"She was well educated and would talk about places my mother had never heard of. She was also involved in many political matters, which was quite scandalous for that time." I smiled at that. She went on.
"I believe what my mother loved best about Elisabeth was her loving nature. She worshipped her husband, and absolutely adored her young son." When Sarah mentioned Edward, I tried very hard not to show emotion. I was afraid she was getting suspicious.
"Her son was named Edward Jr. wasn't it?" I asked.
"Yes, it was." For the first time Sarah's voice showed sadness. "My mother would tend little Edward on occasion for Elisabeth. Apparently, Elisabeth had tried for quite awhile to have a child, and finally she had Edward."
I smiled at that. It was one more way that Edward was a miracle.
Sarah continued. "My mother always said Edward was such a handsome and healthy child." She paused as she remembered back wistfully. "I thought the world of him too."
I stared at her with my mouth open. "You knew Edward?" I gasped.
"Yes, I did," she continued with a sigh. "I still think of him often. I will never forget him. Edward was born in 1901 and I was born in 1910. He was nine years older than I, but he was so kind to me. When my mother and I would visit, he always had candy for me." Sarah actually giggled when she said that. "He never treated me like a little girl. He always hugged me as if I reminded him of . . . Oh my goodness," Sarah suddenly said, "I am getting ahead of my story."
I was so involved with what she was saying about Edward that I had forgotten all about Annie. I couldn't believe it! Here was someone who could tell me so much about Edward, and it seemed like he was just as wonderful back then.
"Please continue," I begged.
"Well," Sarah said, "My mother asked Elisabeth if when her baby was born, she would take the child and raise it as her own. Elisabeth was overjoyed. Her husband was also thrilled at the promise of another child.
Elisabeth and Edward Sr. did not leave my mother to fend for herself. They moved her into a building close to where they lived, and cared for her. It was the first real tenderness my mother had ever known."
"This child was Annabelle wasn't it?" I was beginning to put the pieces together.
"Yes, this was Annie," Sarah stated with a smile. "She was born in 1906 when Edward Jr. was five years old. My mother loved her, but she was overjoyed to see her daughter have such a loving family. This was something my mother was not able to give to her at that time. The father, Edward Sr., was especially taken with Annie. He carried her everywhere, showed her to everyone, and bought her the prettiest dresses."
Sarah continued talking, "The Masens made sure my mother could see Annie. My mother came to be like a dear aunt to her. It was a very happy time for all of them."
Sarah finished her thought, "My mother eventually met a very good man, my father, and they were married. I was their first child."
My heart was pounding. I could feel it in my ears. Now was the time. I swallowed hard and asked the question, "Sarah, how did Annie die?"
Sarah sighed, "I was three years old. I have no memory of it. I was told it started like any other day. Edward and his friends were playing baseball in a vacant lot just outside their apartment. Annie was always tagging along. Usually, Edward included her in everything he did. They were extremely close. Edward treated her like his little princess.
On this particular day, however, he just wanted to play with the boys. Annie whined and put up a big fuss, but Edward still said no. He told her he would find her later and then told her to leave. Edward turned back to the game and ignored her.
Annie ran away crying. As she ran, she turned to yell something at Edward and she stumbled into the road at the exact moment a carriage pulled by four horses passed by. She was killed instantly. Edward saw the whole thing. She was only seven years old when she died."
I sucked in my breath. At first, I felt sick at the sad story about Annie, and then. . . relief. I knew it. I just knew Edward did not kill Annie.
All these years, he thought he had killed her.
Even as a little boy, he was putting too much on himself. In my dream he kept saying it was all his fault. It was just a horrible accident.
Sarah was staring at me. She was confused by my reaction to her story.
I had to jump back into character. "That is so sad that Annie died that way," I said.
Sarah shook her head. "Her death changed many things. The worst part was what it did to Edward Sr. He couldn't handle Annie being gone, and he blamed his son for her death."
I thought about the terrible scene from my dream where I saw Edward's father beating him, and saying Edward had killed her.
"He was just a twelve year old boy," I said without really meaning for Sarah to hear.
"Exactly," Sarah said with much force. "Edward Sr. tore that beautiful family apart with his grief. He began to drink heavily, and treated his son terribly. Elisabeth and Edward Jr. grieved for Annie too, but the father was inconsolable. Edward Jr. never retaliated on any of the things his father did. He never got angry. He was patient and loving with his father no matter what was done to him."
Sarah met my gaze as she said, "It was Edward who eventually saved the family by bringing his father back to them. He had been missing and Edward finally found him. He was a broken man then, and through Edward's love he came to forgive and heal his family."
I remembered the heartbreaking scene from my dream of Edward searching for someone in that dark and dirty alley. It was all making sense now. If it was possible, I loved Edward even more now than I did before.
I gathered my emotions and asked, "So, you grew up seeing them as a happy family once again?"
Sarah smiled. "Yes, it was as if Edward was my protector and brother. He would carry me on his shoulders and walk me to school. He gave me a beautiful doll for my seventh birthday. I still have it. He was so handsome." Sarah looked out the window again, "I was completely taken by him."
"He was my best friend and he didn't seem to mind a little girl following him everywhere. He taught me how to play games and would read books to me. He was very smart and was planning on college."
Sarah turned her head and smiled at me, "Besides my memories he gave me one more thing that was even more lasting."
"What was that?" I just had to know.
Sarah smiled, "He taught me to play the piano."
My head jerked up and I stared at her. I choked out the words, "He taught you to play the piano?"
Sarah was still smiling. "Elisabeth taught him to play, but he had talent all his own." Her face turned to the piano that I had seen in the room, "He taught me on that piano right there. It was his."
My breath came out of me as I turned to look at the piano. Without thinking I got up and slowly walked over and touched it. Tears began to spill down my cheeks. My hands ran softly over the keys. "Oh Edward," I whispered.
I was lost in my own thoughts when I realized Sarah was beside me.
She began to speak, "Edward was so sick, and they wouldn't let me see him. When he died, I cried for days. I was nine years old and my heart was broken." When she looked at me, I could see tears in her eyes as well.
Sarah continued speaking, "Unbeknownst to us, the Masens had named us their beneficiaries in their will. Everything went to us. To ease my grief, my mother gave me Edward's piano." She then reached out and touched the piano lovingly.
She looked up at me and said, "He taught me many songs, but would you like to hear my favorite?"
I was still so choked with emotion that I couldn't answer. I enthusiastically nodded my head.
As she was moving out the bench, and getting ready to sit down, she chuckled a bit and said, "Let's see if I can get my 96 year old hands moving."
Sarah began to play. The first few notes floated up to me and my hands came up to my mouth to stifle a cry.
Sarah was playing my lullaby.
I closed my eyes and listened to the music fill my heart. The tears were running unchecked down my face. I was so overcome I couldn't do anything but whisper, "Edward" over and over.
This was the music that had also been woven through my dream. I had forgotten, until just that moment.
As the last few notes drifted away, she turned to look at me. She must have been surprised to see me so emotional. She must have wondered how I could act that way for someone I'd never known.
I tried to cover for myself by saying, "That song was so beautiful. I've never heard anything like it." I reached out to touch the piano again and said, "And to hear it played on this particular piano has meant everything."
She seemed very appreciative that I would care that much.
"I have one more thing to show you," she said. On a side table she reached for a large envelope. "This is a picture of the Masen family. It was taken after Annie was born."
I anxiously opened it and saw a beautiful family picture. It was yellowed in the background and had faded somewhat, but all I could do was stare at the beautiful five year old boy. He was standing next to his mother with his hand in her lap. I touched his face. Annie was in a lovely flowing dress and was held by her father. I recognized Edward Sr. as the man from my dream, and Elisabeth was just as beautiful.
Having looked at it for a time, I held it out to Sarah. She shook her head and said, "It's yours. It is actually a well-made copy."
"Thank you." I whispered. I couldn't imagine what it would mean for Edward to have this.
I had one more question. "Sarah, how come Annie did not show up on the records with the Masen family? Did they not adopt her?"
Sarah nodded her head and said, "The reason you didn't see Annie on the records, was because my mother's parents would not allow it. They considered Annie their grandchild and threatened to take the baby and raise her themselves, so the Masens agreed, planning to legally adopt her at a later time. After she died, there was so much tumult with Edward Sr.. They were in the process of having her added to their records when they were all taken so quickly."
I could tell that Sarah was tiring. My time here was done. I called for a taxi. I hugged her and thanked her. I gave her my name and address in case she thought of anything else to tell me. I think I mentioned something about how this would be the best paper anyone had ever written.
As I stood there about to go, our eyes locked and I thought about she and I.
We were two people born 79 years apart who loved the same beautiful boy. What would she do if she knew that Edward had been alive all these years, frozen in time just as she remembered him?
She had no idea what she had given me, given Edward.
I couldn't wait to let Edward know about this woman who hadn't forgotten him.
Before I got in the taxi, I turned and looked at the house one more time, and then I left.
When I got back to the hotel, I packed all my stuff and sat down at the laptop to find the fastest flight to Seattle. There was a flight leaving in 3 hours. I bought a ticket. I struggled with wondering if I should let Edward know I was coming back. The strong desire to hear his velvet voice won out. I picked up the phone and began to dial when I remembered that he would see the Chicago area code.
I e-mailed him not knowing if he would see it.
Edward, my love,
I am flying to Seattle today. I will hopefully be home sometime tomorrow. I have figured out everything and I know exactly what I want. Ready or not, here I come. Close your eyes, and feel me hold you.
All my love,
Just before I walked out of the hotel room, I turned and paused. I didn't really think Elisabeth was in the room, but I said, "Elisabeth, thank you. I will take care of him and love him forever." Then I left.
I got to the airport in plenty of time. I sat down to eat after checking in at the gate. My heart was pounding as I thought about seeing Edward again.
I wondered how he would react to everything I would tell him. I wanted his demons gone. I wanted his arms around me and to have him look into my eyes without holding back because of the monster he thought he was. I wanted us to start out lives from here on with happiness.
I checked my e-mail for like the fiftieth time, and there was nothing.
I went and sat at the gate. I was so restless. It was raining outside. I wanted the rain to wash away all these miles between me and Edward. I typed up all the information I had received from Sarah while it was fresh in my head. I finished just as they started boarding the plane.
I was just shutting my laptop when I saw the alert saying I had a message. It simply said,
I will be here waiting.