Misery At Best
She always had a choice. He however did not. The nonsensical journey of Edward after Bella chooses life and ultimately Jacob over him. There was never a doubt in his mind of where he would be, waiting in the shadows.
6. Chapter 6
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I had thought that I had experienced most emotions, most frustrations during my existence. That there were few things left that I was able to experience beyond the anguish and emptiness that Bella left me with. And yet there enters a new sensation into my repertoire, a gradual tearing of my desires. There’s no one to blame for this other than myself.
I should have known better than to even begin to humor the thought of letting Marley into my subconscious. My previous emotional scars should have been warning enough to keep me far away and yet every day I inch a little bit further like a glutton looking for his fix.
Every day I wait for her to say that one thing or her head to play that one song that will release me from my need for her and all I get is more and more attached. Attached. Even the word is causing the tear to split even further. My reasoning behind my research, my experiment, is foggy at best. And with every movement the space becomes wider and it becomes harder to control either need.
It would be easier if I could tell which side was more significant. The obvious answer would be Bella. The amount of myself I put into her would have to be the majority, but if that were the case shouldn’t I have been sitting at my booth every day rather than a rickety table that allows me little view if any?
I groaned internally again. What have I gotten myself into?
As if to prove something to myself I force my direction to steer from the table I have been occupying for weeks to the booth I had abandoned. The rubber bench gripped my jeans as I slid across it, seemingly holding me to my decision. Instinctively, I opened the window and my eyes found the bookshop easily. The exterior was virtually unchanged since the last time I had been more vigilant. I don’t know why I thought it would be any different.
The plan was to try to mend my two halves, force them back together by picking one side. My jaw restricted as the time neared that the bell on the diner would signal the losing sides arrival. It was all I could do to keep my eyes on the shop across the street, to resist the urge to let them flicker to the door.
Everything slowed down at that moment. The unmistakable roar of Bella’s car entered my mind at the same time as the ominous bell rang. My two halves began to split, each demanding I give in to their pull. I keep my eyes on the bookshop and watched as Bella got out of her car and walked towards the door. I leaned towards the window and tried futilely to pull her scent towards me.
Surely having her scent close would be enough to remind me of why I was here. Prove to me that it was incomparable. I took long, deep breaths, but only picked up on the moisture in the air and a pair of faulty break pads.
Just as quickly as Bella appeared, she was gone from my sight again. I pulled upon my above average eyesight to track her movements through the windows. The limited view allowed a slight opening in my consciousness and she leaked in at the exact moment.
‘ When I feel alive
I try to imagine a careless life
a scenic world where the sunsets are all
I can feel her eyes on me and yet she keeps her distance. She’s not the one to run to anyone and that will hold in my favor. The music continues on and the sheer optimistic nature forces me from my seat and out the door. I can’t hold the two pieces together when she won’t give her piece up.
Outside I feel exposed even with the cloud cover. I never allowed myself to do this, to be somewhere where she might see me. Instinctively I entered the trees seeking refuge and a sense of safety. The easing towards the bookshop was careful and slow. Every part of me knew that this was pushing my limits, pushing my luck. But it seemed to be holding me together so I didn’t stop.
The back door was slightly ajar and voices floated out towards me, mostly the unfamiliar chatter of her customers. I focused in and easily plucked her from the babble. There was laughter in her voice as she talked about Jane Austin with what sounds like a teenage girl. I leaned against the door, careful not to push it open, and just let her words flow over me.
A hundred different memories are triggered by her every familiar phrase and inflection, but I welcome the pain. Even as he voice came dangerously close to the back door I simply lean in closer taking a mouthful of her scent. Every thing I remembered is there. The burn in my throat, the rush of venom, even the twitch in my hand, but suddenly it doesn’t seem as potent.
I shook my head and suck in another breath before she was too far away, willing myself to be exclusively pulled. It’s not that it’s the same. It’s so different, but now having heard, smelt, a different song, a new singer…
Frantically, I pushed away from the door and back into the trees. The sudden need for clarity and simplicity overwhelmed me. Even when the pain was too much too carry, too much to inflict upon those I love, it was at the very least clear. The picture included Bella and I and there was never any doubt, never any other possibilities.
I fell back onto the moss-covered ground, not carrying about the moisture. There had been over a century of possibilities before Bella. Years filled with people, anyone of whom could have reached out to me the way she, they did. Why would fate play me this card?
My mind went into overdrive and I was lost in incoherent thought. Suddenly I wanted the familiarity of my new routine. I couldn’t find refuge in Bella’s presence. Her arms didn’t open for me any longer. A realization that was more than substantial in my mind. And yet I stayed close to the shop, eavesdropping on her conversations and feeling less broken than usual, but something was missing.
I tried to consume my mind with the novelty of being a silent listener to her day, but the thoughts, the conversation all fell flat. It wasn’t until a passing car offered a snippet of the radio that it hit me. I was waiting for the melody, a chorus line to accompany the thoughts.
It was easy to follow the need back to the diner. I was careful enough to avoid direct sight from the shop, but as I rounded the back of the café I was stopped in my tracks.
Marley was sitting on a lone picnic table behind the open kitchen door. Her face turned up to the nonexistent sun and her eyes closed. I didn’t even have to focus before the melody filled my mind. It felt like taking a breath I had been holding for too long.
‘There ain't no water
so what is the bother
with tryin' to drink
what's the new plan
when your medicine man
is gone too dead to think
I saw you lookin at
I saw you lookin at me’
I inched closer, debating whether to simply pass and approach her inside or take my chances now. A small stick under my foot made the decision for me. The snap resounded in the still afternoon and as her eyes shot open to meet mine I felt relief rather than nerves. There was no way that I was worthy of the smile that spread across her lips.
If she only knew where I just was, why I’m here, hell even more importantly what I am, there is no way she would be smiling at me like that. More likely she would be running in the other direction.
“You ran out of here pretty quick this morning,” she stated. There were no demands in her eyes. I settled onto the bench next to her and mimicked her position.
“How’d that turn out for you?” The vagueness of her question amazed me. I could answer in any way I pleased about anything and it would suffice. The lack of pressure allowed me to breathe in deeply and appreciate the simple closeness of her.
“Not the way I had hoped,” I answered honestly. She turned her gaze to me and nodded her agreement like she had watched the entire scene from the sidelines.
“That’s how is seems to go usually.”
There was sadness in her words that weighed them down. I tried to find more in her eyes, but she turned away, focusing on a tree instead. The silence fell between us naturally, both of us content to let her inner soundtrack provide the only noise.
“You like me don’t you?” This time her words jerked me from my own thoughts. I choked a little and she chuckled softly.
“At least a little I would think. I mean you sit in my section every day and it’s obviously not because you like the way I serve the coffee.”
It was all I could do to keep my eyes focused on a small bird in the distance. She was not supposed to be this blunt, this observant, this right.
‘Choosing my words carefully
Has never been my strength
I've been known to be vague
And often pointless
But you sure as shit know me
Better than anybody else
And for that in my heart I am hopeful’
Her eyes were hesitant, like the words playing through her mind. She bit her lip slightly and I hoped that she wouldn’t draw blood. My guard was lowering and her scent had full access to me. I leaned in closer to her curious as to where it was the strongest.
She swallowed and I inhaled again. The air was getting thicker, at least around us. I let one finger trail along the column of her throat before I pulled away. The line had been crossed. There would be no going back to simply bantering friends. This would be for me.
With Bella it was always about her. Looking out for her best interest, keeping her safe, always her. I had done myself a serious disservice by having as much restraint as I did. This time I wouldn’t be the one to pull away, the one to say no. Maybe if I had done that before I wouldn’t be making this choice now.
“I got off a little early. You want to come with me somewhere?” Her voice broke through my reverent decisions. The mischief was back in her eyes, but it was clouded by something else. Something I liked and wanted to see more of.
“A specific somewhere?” I asked.
Her smile widened as she pushed herself off the bench and offered me her hand. I held it out to her and waited for the shiver, the immediately recoil that usually came with first solid contact. Her fingers laced through mine and she attempted to pull me to my feet. I complied, letting her think it was a result of her strength.
“You should really think about wearing a coat, you’re freezing,” she laughed. For the first time I looked at what she was wearing. The coat and sweater should have been more than a giveaway. I then looked down at my thin thermal and jeans. I was going to need to pay more attention to the weather.
I let her take the lead to her car. It was probably better that I feigned not knowing exactly which one it was. She drove faster than most humans which actually made me even more at ease. My better sense told me to not let myself relax around her, not to allow her to scale the walls I had so carefully constructed, but there was something so relieving to just not try so hard, for once.
My eyes slipped closed for a moment and the car pulled to a halt. I eyed the beach in front of me carefully. It wasn’t a place I had been before, so it was safe from prompting unwanted memories. She didn’t wait for me as she head down the beach, tossing her shoes to the side as she neared the water.
By the time she stopped I could only see her form, lit by the far away glow of the disappearing sun. There wasn’t much hesitation before I followed. She had sunken into the sand, her toes buried, in a futile attempt to stay warm.
“Come here often?” I winced as the words left my mouth. I hadn’t meant to sound like an overused pick up line. She laughed, letting her head fall back as she did. I watched as the lack of oxygen caused more color to rise up her throat and coat her face. I welcomed the flood of venom that it caused.
“I’ve never seen another person here, so it’s my favorite spot so far. Don’t ruin it for me,” she warned. It was my turn to laugh. The thought of all the things I could do to ruin this place for her. Act on my urge to suck the life out of her for one.
‘What a beautiful face I have found in this place
that is circling all round the sun
what a beautiful dream
that could flash on the screen
in a blink of an eye and be gone
from me soft and sweet
let me hold it close and keep it here’
I inched closer to her, eager to feel the warmth that radiated off her. Without warning she leaned into me. It was easier to push my conscience to the back. I needed this, to feel this again, feel like someone may want me. The void inside of me was silent for the first time in a decade.
“You don’t like people very much do you?” I asked. She chuckled, the action making her shake against me.
“I kind of like you.”
I could argue the finer points, like the fact that I wasn’t actually human, but the way the words surged though me and pulled my two halves a little closer was too good of a feeling to knowingly chase off.