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The Story of Esme

How it began. How it happened. How it ended and how it was revived. A look into the life of Esme Cullen.

This is my first attempt at writing more than just a short story. I have always loved Esme and she is one of my favorite characters in Twilight so i jus thad to tell her story the way I've imagined it.

14. Chapter 14

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I’d never really believed in miracles. This was partly due to the fact that none had ever fallen upon my life and I was the type of girl who needed proof or at the very least personal experience to believe in something. Kind of a believe it when I see it thing. And lately, miracles in my life looked about at probable as a snowstorm in hell. Just plain impossible. But I’d gotten used to the fact that I’d never be saved from Charles and, in a very pathetic and exhausted way, I’d made peace with that. So when exactly six days after I was released from the hospital after a second near-fatal beating he received his draft notice, I didn’t really believe it.

It was still bright out when I came home from the orphanage, having gotten off early for a change. As usual, I hung my coat up on the rack and went to the kitchen to begin dinner. It wasn’t until I turned around to face the kitchen table that I realized Charles had been sitting there, staring blankly into space as he fidgeted with a big white envelope. I jumped, my hand going to my heart in surprise.

“Oh, Charles,” I exclaimed breathlessly. “I didn’t see you there.”

He said nothing. He only continued to stare, making me feel a little uneasy in the process. I sat down at the seat next to his and waited about two minutes before saying anything.

“Charles, what’s the matter?” I asked cautiously in a concerned voice.

He was silent again for a few seconds before responding.

Holding up the envelop, he asked, “Do you know what this is, Esme?”

He looked at me, waiting for my answer. There was something in his eyes that I’d never seen before. I couldn’t place it. It wasn’t anger; God knows I knew what that looked like. And it wasn’t sadness. I knew that, too. It wasn’t until I realized what that thing was that I felt more shocked than I’d ever been in my entire life.

Charles was terrified.

“I have no idea,” I replied softly, still trying to wrap my head around the idea of my abusive husband being scared.

Looking back down at the envelope, he pulled the letter out of it and pushed it across the table to where I was sitting. I picked it up hesitantly, keeping my gaze on him as I unfolded the paper. What I saw was, what I would consider a miracle.

My husband, Charles Oliver Evenson, was being drafted into the war.

I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say. I felt an odd sense of relief, as if there could have been worse things that could have been written on that piece of paper. But of course, I could never show that I was feeling, almost, happy. I didn’t know how to react. I’d never had a miracle happen in my life. In fact, it seemed that my life was doomed from the beginning. I break my leg and end up meeting and saying good-bye to the first man I ever loved in the same day. I lose my best friend, my dear Emma, to a change of plans and betrayal. I fell in love with the man of my dreams, giving him my virginity and conceiving his child, only to have him die and me miscarry. I marry his brother finding later on that he was an abusive monster with a happy face he wears only in public, when not beating my unconscious behind closed doors. So, considering my record of disappointing and undesired situations, how could a miracle finally have touched my life?

Charles began talking as if my shocked facial expression explained my reaction without the need for words.

“I have to report on Monday,” he said quietly, his head in his hands. “I have three days.”

He went on.

“I don’t know what to do,” he murmured helplessly. “I just don’t know what to do. I mean, if it was possible for Jack—“ he stopped, trying to compose himself before finishing the sentence, “—for Jack to die in this God damned war, what chance do I have at surviving? And it isn’t even a choice I have. It’s not like I can just not show up. No matter how much I don’t want to, I am going to war.”

After recovering myself, I put on the helpless but supportive façade of a wife who is worrying for her husband’s safety and well being. But inside I felt the exact opposite.

“What are we going to do?” I mumbled, eyebrows furrowed in fake concern.

All was silent until I sighed and looked back at the roast I had originally been preparing and then back at Charles, throwing him a vulnerable look.

Sighing again, I leaned forward and said, “Well, we both know you have to go. I know how much you’d hate it but you have no choice in the matter.”

Suddenly, Charles stood up and threw the table we had been sitting at across the room, flying into the wall and making a large hole in the plaster. One leg had torn off and the table itself was nearly split in half. He was crazed as he grabbed my throat, pinning me against the wall, and began to squeeze.

“What? You don’t think I already knew that?” he hissed through clenched teeth. “You think I’m too stupid to realize that I have no choice? Are you patronizing me?”

I was getting very dizzy from the lack of oxygen to my brain and eventually, after I’d begun seeing flashing lights in the corners of my eyes, I tried to fight him for the first time ever. But instead of being infuriated by my defiance, he let me go since he could obviously see that I was about to pass out. He let me drop to the floor, relinquishing his grasp of my throat. He watched as I coughed, trying to breath again, feeling the bruises already forming on my skin. I rubbed my neck with my hand and when Charles tried to come near me, I put the other one up to tell him to stay away. I’d had enough.

“Esme,” he began apologetically. “Esme, sweetheart, I’m sorry. I just got angry and lost control. I’m just so upset about the draft and it’s got me driven mad. Please,” he said. “Please forgive me.”

I knew that if I didn’t forgive him, things could get even worse. I wouldn’t look at him but instead looked down at the floor as I spoke.

“Its okay. I know you’re just stressed,” I stated, my voice raspy from his actions. Then, too finish it off, I added, “You’re forgiven.”

And I smiled weakly, trying to show that I was okay. Charles helped me stand up, lifting me easily due to my small size. He smiled back at me and took my head in his hands. When he kissed me, I kissed back, however nauseating it may have been for me at the time to put effort into kissing the man who’d just moments before nearly strangled me. But, just to make him happy, I did and I did it convincingly. As he kept his lips to mine, he led me to our bedroom, where I knew he would want more than just a kiss.

I dreaded the fact that I would have to sleep with him, even though he was my husband and this wouldn’t have been the first time I’d had to suck it up and please him. I only hoped that it wouldn’t be long and that he’d fall asleep soon so I might have the chance to go into out bathroom, and scrub my body raw, crying the entire time like I always did afterward we had sex. Because it wasn’t making love; Jack and I made love, not Charles and I. Between him and I, there was no real love. No real feeling. Our marriage had been one to convenience and I knew that. There had never, ever, been actual love there.

As I cleaned myself, I thought about the fact that Charles had been drafted and a few thoughts came into my head. What if he died in battle? What if he never came home? But the most startling thought was: What if I never had to deal with his beatings ever again? The thought made me shudder, but not in a bad way. More in an excited way, though most would think it terrible to be excited over the prospect that their husband might die in war. But then again, most didn’t have to deal with regular abuse like I did.

If Charles did actually die in battle, I would be free. I’d never have to fear for my life. I’d never have to follow his strict and unreasonable rules. I’d never have to go to the hospital with broken bones and lie about how I’d gotten them ever again. I’d be free. And the idea of my freedom coming sooner rather than later was just pleasantly baffling to me. As I said, I never believed in miracles. But maybe, just maybe, that is exactly what the draft notice was. A miracle. And if it was, then my life might possibly be my own once again. It might be one without fear or helplessness. It would be one of happiness… it would be one of hope.