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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!


9. Walking Two Worlds

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1947   Review this Chapter

"Tell Edward what?" Isabella asked confused as I continued to trim some of the Roses in my hands. Yes Lizzie, I thought to myself What are you going to tell your Edward. Mummy's dead but she's been watching you and your young bride—you and your father have similar taste in rings, I approve? Come on Lizzie, what are you going to say? "Believe me, Mrs. Masen—I've told Edward some things and he's taken them well, other things we just don't bring up any more. I don't know how well he'd react to the fact I'm the only one that can see his deceased family" she finished her hands rubbing the temples of her head. "I feel sorry for the kid on the Sixth Sense, seeing dead people is harder than you'd think."

"I'm trying to understand that myself," I answered, setting the rose down in a basket the red of the petals still bright in the moonlight. After I made sure she was in bed I'd arrange the flowers I trimmed and would put them on the table. Just like I had done before the epidemic struck. Maybe subtle hints could bring back memories, my heart whispered, maybe—"But Bella, I need my son to know me. To remember he had another mother who loved him very very much. He doesn't remember all the events of September and October 1918 but for Eddie and I, they are the day's I remember most."

She turned her eyes from where she had been staring and looked at me, her face calm and composed she's pretty strong, I thought to myself, minus her previous fainting spell, she's taken all of this quiet well. 'Lizzie, can I ask you something first—before we figure out how I'm going to get Edward to believe me on this.'

Perhaps I thought too soon—I couldn't help it. I raised my eyebrow. "Go a head Bella, I haven't been asked questions in a while. I hope I'm still good at this advice business…"

She looked nervous, her composure slowly fading away into awkward shyness as though she was just about to confined in her husband's mother a scandalous secret. "Edward's promised to turn me into a Vampire. It was one of the reasons we got married—if I would marry him, then to ensure we'd be with each other forever he was going to turn me into one…"

"Ah—but you're unsure? Or he is?" I ask. I had always wondered about Edward's transformation, if it was too painful or if he could've died in the process. Eddie and I went beyond in the hospital, to the other side of where ever the dead go, the last we saw of our living Edward was Dr. Cullen wheeling him to the morgue.

"He's unsure. He doesn't want to cause me that level of pain. I tell him it's nothing compared to the pain life would be without him—but you know your son. He doesn't like being the cause of other people's burdens, he doesn't like to see those he loves suffer."

She knows him well, a voice in my head whispers, How many times had he asked about Quincy and Sherrie in the hospital? "Alright-" I replied, as I noticed she was waiting for me to process this before going on.

"I'm not unsure of the fact I love him. I'm not unsure about the fact I want to be with him forever. But—Edward says sometimes people die—that things go wrong," Bella explained, using her hands as she spoke to better flow her nervous voice. "I'm not afraid of becoming a vampire—but death—"

Ah, "I will not say it's painless. In full honesty it depends how you do it," I explain. My mind flooding back to the day years and years ago. " I remember that the influenza fever was very strong, I was sweating something awful and I remember I had just seen Dr. Cullen…"

Mrs. Masen, you're burning up, he had said as he took his hand of my head. It was usually so cold but today it felt like dead weight on my forehead. I had hoped he wasn't getting sick as well, I was worried I had given him the disease. I hadn't even thought that perhaps I was the one who had gotten worse.

I had asked for Edward's fate. I had asked for Dr. Cullen to do everything in his power to save my son from dying. I didn't know that was going to include him becoming a vampire. I just asked he be kept safe, and for me that meant alive in any form, even if it meant he sparkled.

"I can remember lying in bed and feeling the fever break. Or at least what I thought was the fever breaking. Rather it was the feeling of the body and spirit separating temporarily— I felt happy, that Edward and I had survived. I was at peace and felt as though I could take on anything. Dying doesn't hurt Bella, if that's what you're afraid of, don't. Although the road there might be painful—heavens knows that influenza was a bit of a stinker—actually dying is nothing."

She gave a weak smile, "Have you met any vampires in heaven, you know, those that were destroyed?"

Someone could destroy Edward? I thought alarmed, something my face surly showed. No one had told me this before, and obvious by the face Bella was making she could tell. "Don't worry, it's really hard and I don't know of many that do end up that way. Edward's safe," she promised, with a zeal in her voice. "I won't let anything happen to him."

"Thank you," I gently whisper. "I haven't met any people in our Heavenly Chicago that have gone beyond as a vampire. But I have to believe that when all is said and done, all things will be made right and Edward, Dr. Cullen and Esme will be able to join us up there," I say with a faint smile, repeating the prayer that I've constantly wished for years. "Does that help?" I look at Bella who gives a nod.

"Good—anything else?"

"Actually I was wondering if you had any theories on why I can see you," Bella starts again. "Don't get me wrong this has been a great visit but—"

"You're worried of making a habit seeing us dead folk, yes I tried warning Sherrie about that…" I give a slight laugh, remembering Sherrie's tea-time story.

"Exactly. You probably wouldn't believe all the creatures I've run into the past few years."

"You're free to ask questions Bella," I respond. And lord does she ask her questions, "The only reasonable theory I can think of is the fact that you tend to walk these two worlds often."

With curiosity lit like a fire, she focused her eyes more on mine "What two worlds?"

"Between the living and the dead," I respond, turning to my flowers. "You see this Rose, when it lives, everyone sees its beauty. It's at this time everyone will treasure it, everyone will appreciate it. Yet when this rose dies, only the gardener who saw to it's care, and very few others will continue to appreciate it."

"Sorry-I love literature but I missed your message," Bella apologizes looking at the rose.

"And I've been bad at parables. Father Michaels would be the first to tell you that," I sigh, remembering all to well my dear childhood priest—and attempted to try again "You see Bella, You belong to one world, the living world. It's the one and only world we humans are meant to trod in until we're dead. You however, also trod this world with Edward, Dr. Cullen and his family who are very dead. You see both of them. And you desire to join the one you're not meant yet to enter and forsake the one where you belong. This is a weak theory, but perhaps the reason you see me is because of that desire. To be what I am now, the dead among the living."

"But you're only that three days out of a year—" Bella protested, "How is it that Edward can't see you then?"

"I don't know," I mutter. "I suppose it's the fact that we're both involuntarily in our places. Perhaps since I'm not always present as a dead among the living, he can't see me. Perhaps while some lines can be crossed, to cross my line would to cross a chasm that separates Edward and I."

"I guess that makes me the bridge," Bella laughed, "Yes," I join her, "you're our bridge."

"So what do you want me to tell Edward—mum dies at five, remember?"

"No," I surprise myself with my answer, He's walking a different Path Lizzie, a voice like Eddie sounds in my head don't confuse him too much—" If you get a chance, just tell him his mother loves him still."

"Will do," Bella answers. I smile, and look for a final time at the roses "You should head to bed, Edward will be home soon and if you're up talking to yourself on the rooftops—"

"Good point," Bella smiles and heads down the stairs before turning to look at me halfway, "So is this the last time I'll see you Mrs. Lizzie?"

"For a while yes—"

She walks back up the stairs and gives me a hug, it's odd to have a human hug again, my ghostly self thinks as I can feel it but not fully, "Good bye then, I'll take care of Edward," she promises, as she returns to walking down the steps. "Oh Bella—could you do me a favor?"

"Yes Mrs Lizzie?"

Don't be too selfish-my Eddie voice counsels in my brain. "Every so often, if you could—could you and Edward make more an effort to visit during Eddie and I's death week. It's really been too long,"

A smile crosses her face, "Of course Mrs. Lizzie, we'll look forward to it. Are you going to come down or should I close the door?"

I look back at my garden, "You go a head dear, I'll be alright. Goodnight Isabella,"

She waves and closes the door as I cross the room to where I can look down on the street bellow. Much has changed in ninety years, but at night-especially in these early hours of the morning, it hasn't changed at all. A slight wind from the west, a ruffle of fallen leaves. If I were alive, Eddie and I would be sitting and looking at the stars together, all while planning our next twenty years together.

"So long as there's still a Europe to see after this war, how about we all go to the Alps as a family next winter," Eddie had whispered in my ear on one such a night. "You, me, Edward—dearest if you want to we could even bring along Sherrie and Quincy," he had promised as I rested my head on his shoulder.

"Now that Edward's done with St. Anthony's we can go on more adventures- we can summer in Canada—we can take a steamer to somewhere lovely—

As long as I'm with you sweetheart, I had always smiled, turning up to look at him, I'll be perfectly happy.

Well, that settles the matter, I'll book passage on the Olympic as soon as this ruddy war ends!

A good hour passed. It's amazing how memory lane can do that. It must be near three in the morning, my visit with Bella having been a shorter one. I close my eyes and listen for a moment. I can hear running from down the street. I give a faint smile, Edward was almost home.

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