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Killing Loneliness

What if Jacob Black never existed? What if Victoria left Bella alone and never came back? What if Edward never came back? This is that story. Apologies to H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty) for using one of their song titles even though this is not a song-fic (I just felt I had to put that in). The name also just seemed too perfect, seeing as Bella becomes a tattoo artist, and H.I.M. is a very popular band around that crowd. DISCLAIMER: All characters, unless mentioned in the end notes, belong to ubergalactically fantabulous (love those words!) Stephenie Meyer! Please don't sue me!!!!!!

Bella didn't have Jake, and couldn't cope with the pain of staying in Forks. Two days after Edward said goodbye, Bella packed her things and drove to Seattle, where she sold her truck for a black and red 1978 Chevy Camaro. She finished high school at the Center School and became a tattoo artist at a parlor in the alternitave district of Ballard, in Seattle. She now lives in a small apartment with her black cat, Nightmare, while attending college at the University of Washington. She studies architecture.

1. Pain.

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He's gone. I can't believe he's gone.

I sat in the corner of my room repeating these words to myself as I rocked back and forth. I was soaked to the bone with the icey cold rain, but I hardly noticed. All I could notice was that he was gone. They were all gone. And they were never, ever, ever coming back.

Another shudder of pain racked my body, stopping my rocking immediately. I uncurled myself from the ball I had been cramped into, closing my eyes against the sheer terror of what had happened.

Bella, we're leaving.

The memory of yesterday hit me hard, throwing me onto my back with the force of the horror. Images of him flashed behind my closed eyes, but I couldn't seem to open them.

I'm no good for you Bella. My world is not for you. Not for you... Not for you...

"Edward!" I screamed, running downstairs and back out into the rainy black night. I didn't stop to tell my dad I was leaving, I just ran back to the forest, but stopped at the beginning of the trees. I had to get out of here. Spinning suddenly, I ran back into the house.

"Bella, what-" Charlie began, but I ran back upstairs before he could finish.

"I'm going to bed, Dad. I'll see you in the morning." I said without emotion, loud enough for Charlie to hear from the bottom of the stairs.

I had a plan though. When he left for work, I would leave for Seattle. I was eighteen, old enough to do what I wanted without parental consent, so I didn't worry about that. I didn't need to worry about school either, I wasn't allowed to go to school in my "catatonic" state anyways. I pulled an old duffel bag out of my closet as quietly as I could and began to pack. I simply shoved everything that would fit into the bag from my drawers and my sock full of college money from underneath my mattress. I didn't really need much else seeing as I would be starting a new life anyways. Not much use in bringing any more memories than I already had jammed up inside of my head.

The last thing I packed was the one picture of him I kept in my purse, the one thing he didn't know about, the only thing he didn't take. I knew that this was a bad idea, but I couldn't just leave all of my physical memories behind. I shoved the picture into my wallet without looking at it, so I couldn't feel a new spasm of pain go through the place where my heart once was. I closed my eyes and fell to the floor with the force of which the next memory hit me.

I'll make you a promise in return, I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I won't come back. I won't put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I'd never existed...

How silly. I laughed darkly, my eyes opening. My whole life would be just as painful as that moment, what on earth was he saying? Like he'd never existed? My whole life still revolved around him, I would never forget him.

Always the fool... I thought to myself as I drifted back into the bliss of unconsciousness again.