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The Story of Esme

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


Notes:
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.


9. Chapter 9

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1552   Review this Chapter

We announced our engagement the next day, both of us anxious to spread the word of our love. Everyone was thrilled, especially my parents. I was finally doing what they had always wanted me to do and I was marrying a man of good means, which was a key factor in choosing a husband. Husband and wife. It sounded so awkward yet I loved the sound of it. I loved him more than life itself and I was happy to see that everyone was just as happy as I was. Even Jack’s brother Charles was happy for us, though I knew he had at one time desired me. I was happy. Jack was happy. Everyone was happy and it felt like things were finally coming together.

It was already three months into the engagement when the worst, most unthinkable thing occurred. I came home from the orphanage one day, holding a few invitation samples in one hand and a few wedding magazines in the other, hoping to go over them with my mother to see if I liked anything I saw in them. I opened the front door and looked around the foyer to see that no one was bustling around like they usually were at dinnertime.

“Hello?” I called, my brow furrowed in confusion. “Mother? Father?”

“We’re in here, Esme,” came a shaky voice from the kitchen. It sounded like my mother’s voice but I’d never heard her crying before.

Why is my mother crying? I thought as I quickened my pace down the hallway towards the kitchen. I had a feeling that something bad had happened when I saw that the kitchen was crowded with people. My mother, my father, Theo, the Evenson’s, Charles, Jack, even their younger sister Inez was there. Jack was sitting at the head of the table, holding an envelop in his hands. All of the women were crying, especially Amelia and Inez who were holding each other as they shed their tears. This was bad. Very bad.

“Mother, what’s going on?” I asked, dropping my things to the ground.

She didn’t reply. Instead she looked to Jack who handed me the envelope. I took the letter out of it as it was already opened and unfolded the paper so I could see what it said. I couldn’t even finish reading it before I looked up in shock, tears already forming as I backed up into the wall, grabbing the back of a chair for support to keep me from collapsing.

It was a draft notice. Jack, the love of my life, was being drafted, taken away from me and thrust into the deadly trenches and toxic clouds of mustard gas. He was going to war.

My mother and Inez came to my aide when they saw I was about to crumple to the floor. Holding me up by my arms, they steadied me and tried to get me to sit down. I waved them away and told them I was fine, though the streams of tears coming out of my eyes betrayed my true emotion: fear.

I feared for Jack and feared that he might die on a battlefield, never to return to me. I feared about myself and what I would do everyday that I didn’t know if he was alive or dead or if he’d ever come back to me. But most of all, I feared for the child that was growing in my womb and how they might never know what an amazingly good man their father was if Jack did, indeed, die.

I hadn’t told anyone that I was with child. Not even Jack. I had been planning to tell him that night when he came to my window but this had completely thrown me off my original plan. A million thoughts were running through my head like flashes of light and dark before my eyes. Jack might die. I might be left an unmarried mother, shamed by the fact that I might be having my future son or daughter out of wedlock. We weren’t married yet and my family would surely disown me if they found out. But the most frightening thought was that I might say good-bye to my dear Jack, the most important person in my life, and never see him again.

And then, I collapsed. This time Jack was at my side before anyone else, holding me in his arms. But when I looked into his eyes, I saw something that shocked me more than anything: fear. Jack, my strong, enduring Jack was afraid, as I had never seen him before. I think it might have been that revelation that made me faint as everything was engulfing me to a point that I could not handle. I was later told that he picked me up in his arms; my being tiny compared to him, and brought me up the stairs to my room, laying me down on the bed. For hours I stayed unconscious but he stayed by my side the entire night.

When I woke up, I saw him staring at me longingly as he sat in an old rocking chair by my bed. I stirred and turned my head to the other side and saw him, just watching me. He smiled and so did I…until I remembered the draft notice and how he would be gone in less than a week. I sat up in bed and kept smiling, though I was already crying and my smile was obviously meant to cover up my sadness.

“Hello,” he said, wiping a few of my tears away with his thumb before running his hand along my cheek, as I had always loved him to do. I could see the pained look on his face so I softened my gaze.

“Hello,” I replied, making him smile again.

There was a deep silence between us that lasted for several minutes as we just looked at each other, as if to memorize our faces and embed them in our minds forever. I knew that if there was ever a time to tell him about my condition, it would be then; I thought it might be easier to tell him if we were both calm and composed.

“I have to tell you something that you need to know before you have to--,” I began, not being able to say the words “report for duty.”

He smiled at me, making me feel a little better now that his eyes, those beautiful emerald eyes, were on me. He didn’t speak, waiting instead for me to tell him what he had to know. I took a deep breath, calmed my mind and sat up straighter so my eyes were level with his.

“I’m pregnant, Jack,” I whispered in a raspy voice, raw from sleeping for so long. “You’re going to be a father.”

He leaned back in his chair and looked stunned, as any new father-to-be might be. But instead of being stunned in a bad way, he looked stunned in a happy, delightful sort of way, which made me relieved. He smiled and turned his eyes back to me, glancing from my face to my belly and back to me face.

“Are you sure?” he asked, eyes wide in astonishment.

I nodded my head and smiled, “Yes, I’m sure.”

Suddenly he was reaching out to touch my belly but I laughed.

“You can’t feel the baby yet. It’s still too early,” I explained when he wondered what my laughter was for.

“Oh,” he said, looking embarrassed.

It was then that he leaned over and kissed my lips, softly and gently. He and I lay in bed for several hours until dawn. We didn’t make love or do anything of that sort. He just rested his head on my belly, above where our child was growing. I was happy that he had taken it so well and was glad over my condition rather than upset. When he had to go so my parents wouldn’t see he had stayed there all night, I gave him a sharp look and stood before him as tall as I could manage.

“You come back to me, Jack Nathaniel Evenson,” I said seriously, looking him dead in the eyes, a firm expression on my face. “Don’t be a hero. Don’t be brave. Just stay alive.”

He kissed me fervently and took my face in his hands.

“I promise you, Esme,” he started. “I will come back and we will get married and we will raise our child together. Nothing will ever keep me away from you. Not even this war.”

I tried believed it. I really did. But things can change as quickly as they can manifest. I knew that as well. I tried to think positively but it didn’t work. He left me and I cried for hours afterwards, knowing that the reality was that my child might never be able to meet their father.