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Returning to Chicago

Summary:
Following their Honeymoon, Edward and Bella return to Chicago to live in his family's home. Yet Edward and Bella aren't the only ones residing in 254 Cherry Lane--Elizabeth Masen's resides in the home and is not just welcoming Edward home, but a mysterious girl who seems to have captured her sons heart. Sequel to 1918, pre-Breaking Dawn. Now Complete. only adult for profanity when appropriate, and used sparingly.


Notes:
Following their Honeymoon, Edward and Bella move into his former home in Chicago where their are more than vampires wandering the halls, Told from the Point of View of Elizabeth Masen, with Bella in Italics. Chapter Nine, Walking Two Worlds, now updated!


1. A Very Happy Deathday

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 2432   Review this Chapter

It is a universal truth that all humans die. It’s like breathing, all that live someday will die, Father Michaels taught me as a little girl in Sunday School. It is something that I have experienced. I buried my little William and Anna when they where babies, and I then would experience it for myself.

I, Elizabeth Sophia Taylor Masen, of 254 Cherry Lane Chicago , died September 30th, 1918 of the Spanish Influenza. The obituary, put out by my Cousin, Carslise Cullen reported that I was thirty-nine, and proceeded in death by my most beloved husband of twenty years, Edward Andrew Masen, by three days and was survived by one son, my dearest Edward Anthony.

I didn’t have a Funeral service, just like countless others who died during the epidemic of 1918. I was quiet alright with that. Rather I shared a service with the others, my husband, our servant girl Sherrie, neighbors and total strangers. I remember that day it rained on Chicago. The papers would say it was God’s way of washing the city of it’s illness when rather it was Mother’s tears falling from heaven for the children and loved ones we left behind.

But that day was along time ago. Chicago is still a bustling city. Sky-scrappers taller then I could ever have dreamed decorate downtown, but nothing has the power to take away from the beauty of the remaining Victorian homes on Cherry Lane, especially on a September afternoon like today, I believe as I look out from the roof of my former home.

The roses are enjoying their last bloom, just like they had the week I died. And my Husband. And our dearest Sherrie. The air is crisp and warm, showing that the sun is still present in the day.The sun is setting again. I could feel the warm rays leave the roof. Twilight, yet again, falls on the city. I feel an eerie peace, a quiet sensation as I feel something stir within me.

My ninetieth anniversary of that death is today, in a hour or two to be exact.

As allowed in my new residence, the Heavens, Nirvana, Afterlife—however people term it, I am allowed to return to my former residence for three days on the anniversary of my death. Eddie, my husband, doesn’t understand why I keep such a constant vigil at our old home on Cherry Lane. After all, I can see everyone, they can’t see me; and regardless to wither or not I’m alive or dead, I don’t like being alone. That’s why we kept Sherrie for most of those years.

They have joined me on my returns in the past, but not this time. This time I wander alone, my sadistic ritual has become a bother to say for the two of them.I am alone, just wandering the upstairs of my Chicago home. I am, after all, a ghost. Normally, these days are boring. Little of anything has ever truly happened in these ninety years that causes me to mourn when my three days are up and I’m called up to have a book discussion with Edna Whiticker, my sisters and mother.

There have been a few various days in which I wished I could stay, and those would be the days that I saw my son, my darling little boy, my Edward.I haven’t seen Edward since 1959; in that year, he and his new family had briefly stayed at the house while Carlisle made the necessary arrangements to move to a new location in Washington State. There was a girl that appeared Edward’s age and her bulky husband that stayed in the guest room that had last been occupied by Sherrie Keeley. Also, there was the one that I knew and loved deeply, Carlisle, and his new mother Esme. I was wary at first of this woman, but I have been the mother of her little boy that died since she took my son into her care. It’s not an even trade, but I suppose it will do, and I love little Thomas. He is very different from Edward as a baby, his golden curls and compassionate eyes have always won me over.

I hadn’t seen anyone since 1990 when a team that specialized in Restoration of the turn of the century homes came by on orders of Mrs. Esme Cullen and her son Edward. It had been a very boring three days, and loud as the team restored the floor tiles, the foundation, and dusted everything from the chandelier to the door knobs, only sparing what had been my study. Edward didn’t want anything touched in that room for some reason, so I find my dreaded typewriter keys frozen in the same way they have been for nearly a century. I believe that was the one year I voluntarily left early, construction humor and the noise being too much for me.

I hadn’t held my son since we both lay dying in the hospital, 1918. The events of those two weeks between September and October had left their marks on us permanently. While I floated between the heavens and my last residence, my son was forever halted; trapped , despite his age, in the body of a seventeen year old. It is hard enough for a mother to think that she’ll never see her son alive when there is a world war going on, as I had begun to worry my last days in mortality.

However, it isn’t as unbearable as living through out the eternities when you wouldn’t be reunited nor could he remember. That was the cross that all mothers of vampires had to bare.

I take part responsibility for Edward’s current state. On my deathbed I had demanded that Dr. Cullen do all in his power to raise my son from his falling state. It had been some of the last words I spoke in that life, ‘Save him;’ those had been my words. Save him from dying. Save him from having life stolen from his grasp. Save him from the angel of death.Carlisle—that heavenly saint—had listened to my dying words. I hated, and loved him for it, everyday of my afterlife.

I hated that I wouldn’t see him again, till the end of all things had come to pass and all be restored under the hand of the Lord. As soon as Lion and the Lamb actually happened, I’d see my Edward again.

I loved that he lived, that he was able to continue on with his stilled heartbeat, but I had been there for the dark years. When he had rebelled, as any young man would. It was September30th of 1935. He walked into the house, and up the stairs to my sitting room where he realized that he couldn’t “hunt” humans anymore; His tearless sobs of hatred and weakness in himself seemed to tare not only him, but myself as well. I did try my best to comfort him that night, but then we reach the true hardship of my afterlife, he can’t see me.

But none of this matters because it is September 30th 2008 and the familiar sound of Edward’s voice can be heard outside the front door in the cool Chicago night. The sun has set, and a light, musical laugh accompanies his own deep one. I stand atop of the stairs, dressed as I was before I left for the hospital all those years in a Sapphire evening gown, looking down and waiting for the doorknob to turn.

My Son is finally home, the excitement is rushing through me. The door knob jiggles slightly and then opens to show a smiling young man, his hair glowing with warm off the setting sun, his perfect teeth showing through that crooked smile I love best; the only thing that will be missing is his green eyes—but that isn’t what captures my attention. No, what does that is the young woman who’s in his arms being carried bridal style over the threshold.

“ I am perfectly capable of walking Edward,” I started as I looked up at Edward’s jovial eyes, feeling the blissful security of being held in his arms. I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything, even if my stubborn independence begs otherwise. There is nothing better, more blissful, jovial, heartwarming than being held in his arms.

“I know you can my dearest Mrs. Masen,” Edward returned with a continuing smile, “Just let me keep on doing this right,” he started, beginning to set me down on my two feet as he went back to the cab to get our two suitcases.

I look at this new building I’ve found myself in. The entry way, seems to be stuck in an Anne of Green Gable’s world. The lace curtains and thick navy draperies, the cold oak wood floors and wall paneling. It is nearly empty of all furniture, save a Victorian chair sitting next to the winding staircase, a end table on it’s other side.

Casually I walk over to discover the bouquet that Charlie had sent, probably under Renne’s counsel, of Wildflowers and Freesia. However, it isn’t the flowers that capture my eyes, it’s the black and white photograph sitting next to them.
I look casually at frist; its a little boy at the beach , possibly at the nearby lake. He’s dressed in a little sailor out fit, shorts and hat to complete it’s desired direction. A woman, his mother, sits near him in the picture, both of them smiling over a sand castle.

“ You wouldn’t believe how badly mother sunburned that day,” a voice started behind me, as the owner’s arms wrapped themselves around me. “This is you?” I asked looking at him with raised eyebrows looking at the honest face he always portrayed.

“I was a little boy once too,” he smiled, taking the picture from my hands and looking at it himself. “ You know I can’t remember my human life well, but Mother wrote diaries and wrote about this expedition. Would you believe that I dumped sand on a little girl who came over and wanted to build the castle with me?”

I snickered, “Possibly, depends, you thought she had cooties right?” My hand went up to reach his face. His cool left hand pressed mine into his cheek. “I honestly didn’t think anything of her. Who ever she was, she knew I was friends with Quincy Whiticker.”


“With no ill feelings towards this friend, from what I’ve heard from you makes me think he was a 1918 Mike Newton,” I grin trying to soak in yet another great moment as this. Edward’s face seems unchanged, save his eyebrows that are pondering my diagnosis. “Bella, do you really think that I would ever be friends with someone like Michael Newton?” he asks, sarcasm rolling in every word.

“No,” I answer with a smile, as he takes my hand from his face and drops it to his side. “But I can if you’ll hold my hand again,” I start, wondering what has led to its fall from his face. “Come on,” he starts, grabbing my hand again, pulling me close into his arms as he whispers in my ear “Let me show you our home.”

I follow these two down the halls of my home with eyes trying to soak in everything. What’s her name? I long to know. They’re married? I realize, gathering the context of their conversation when they entered the home. Is she a vampire too? Is this their honeymoon? How did this happen? Who is she?

In 1917, shortly after Edward turned sixteen, Edna and I began having conversations about when our sons married. Edna had two grown sons that had already been joined in matrimony to two lovely girls of high class.

She was more than welcome in counseling me on how to select a good bride for my Edward. She loved her son Derek’s bride Melinda, the daughter of a prominent judge in Philadelphia, but she had only wished that she had been more selective when her son Samuel had been stubborn enough in marrying his Charlotte. ‘Nothing,’ Edna spoke as I had drank my tea, “Was more heart wrenching then knowing that your son had married below his class.”

I had given a quiet nod. I knew Edna was one not to be trifled with on the matters of her son’s happiness. I knew very well that Quincy, a month senior than Edward, had matches already going through Edna’s mind. She wouldn’t let the same mistake that hit Sam hit her youngest son. However I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with the match. Sam and ‘Charlie’ as she liked to be called, were in love. Yes, Charlie was the daughter of immigrants that had come to Chicago from Ireland, but they were an established business family. If anything, she brought just as much as Sam to the marriage.

“When your Edward marries,” Edna continued on as though she was a Queen deciding on the matter, “You will need to find a Melinda for Edward. You only have one shot dear Elizabeth, to have a child marry well. I have a great-neice that would suit very well for Edward—”

“I trust Edward’s judgment. She just has to love him as much as I and all will be well with me.” I answered in full honesty. After all, Edward’s judgment was sound and I did trust him more then I would most people of his generation.

“As would we all like to say Elizabeth. However judgment can be clouded in the realms of love, and you could someday find yourself eating those pretty little words you just spoke.”

I cared less for Edna’s counsel at the time. I tried to dismiss the images of me being the dreaded Mother in Law and cast Edna’s talk to be out of the stress of the upcoming marriage for her niece.

However, that morning I began to wonder what it was going to be like when Edward walked in to St. Anthony’s Cathedral with a girl dressed in white and lace cover face. Would I be judgmental as Edna was to my new daughter in law, would i be the vain of her existence? Would Edward’s opinion of me drop as it had with Sam Whittaker?

A year later, as we lay dying in 1918 I had made my last request because I wanted Edward to experience love. And now, as I climbed the stairs in my afterlife, following the two I realized that he finally had.