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Only a Delusion

Summary:
Imprinting is supposed to be a simple progress, something that lasts forever. Certainty can be delusive. One-Shot Nessie Challenge
Winner


Notes:
This is the one-shot I'm sending in for the challenge. I'm not too sure I like it, because I feel it moves along too fast (like a lot of my plots) and gets stuck on certain points, but I'm too amazed that I wrote anything at all to complain. Even if this doesn't win anything, I'm extremely proud of myself for just sitting down for the few hours and writing about Twilight. I didn't think I'd be able to. Thank you for reading and don't forget to review. If you find any mistakes, please let me know - how else could I improve? Enjoy =)


1. Only a Delusion

Rating 4/5   Word Count 2607   Review this Chapter

Yesterday, I could have sworn that he and I shared everything with each other. Not a breath, not a sigh, nor a stray thought was left unsaid, and even the most trivial of matters were discussed thoroughly, simply because we took great pleasure from just hearing our voices together in a conversation.

Yesterday, I’d had the greatest boyfriend and most loving mother of the world. My father had been just and rational, and my family the equivalent of perfect.

But today, the world had turned on its head.

The old letters in front of me – that had obviously been crumpled and reopened several times – betrayed the dark secrets of my family, and I wasn’t talking about mythical legends.

“So you like sappy, over romantic letters? I can do sappy as well as he can.”

The messy letters ran over the pages, covered by stains and wrinkles that usually come from drops of water being dropped over paper.

“I wish I could tell you this to your face. Hell, someday I will. But in order to accomplish that, I’ll have to lure you away from that MONSTER that hangs itself all over your life. In fact, I wish I could jump into my car and get over to your house right now, just to see you, to steal one glimpse… but I can’t. Because HE’S there, watching your every move.

Because seeing you would make me lose my mind.

Maybe I should give up. But what is giving up? What a stupid word. It could mean so many things.

By giving up, I could mean giving YOU up. And I know I can’t do that.

Then what else could it mean? That I could give up trying to stay away? I could start answering your calls again. It would be so easy to pick up the phone. I often have to leave the house whenever I hear the ringing, because just the thought of your voice being so close to me is too tempting.

But I CAN’T give up. Not in any sense of the word.”

I stopped reading and quickly threw the letters on the floor. Why did I even want to read them through again? I didn’t need a reminder of what they said. I was torturing myself for nothing. I should forget the lines that were going to follow, shove them out of my mind forever…

But I found myself incapable of preventing the lines from entering my thoughts. Never before had my good memory seemed such a curse to me.

“So, yeah, I know. What was I going to say?

I love you, Bella.”

The last four words echoed through my mind like an unstoppable arrow, piercing the hard flesh of my sanity.

I’d heard those words from him before. Usually, the name that followed was mine. In rare cases, he might jokingly call the sentence after my mother if she’d done something to please him – but only as a joke, a lighthearted expression of joy…

Not a declaration of love.

I shook my head away from the letters, away from the last five minutes that had shattered my entire life. But the movement only seemed to blend the mixture of different kinds of pain further, and I soon couldn’t distinguish one emotion from the other.

“He loved her, he loves her…”

By repeating the words, I made a ghastly discovery.

Was this really all in the past?

I scanned through my memory, through every scene that I’d used to savor but now made me nauseous, searching for some sign that my suspicions were wrong. She wouldn’t have, couldn’t have done that to me. Even if something so horrendous had happened, it would have been a horrible mistake, something that she would have tried to fix right away. She would have told me, Father, the whole family…

There! Just two days ago they had touched each other – discreetly, of course. Mother was walking past him at the door, and their forearms connected for just a fracture of a second…

“Nessie? Darling, where are you? I thought we wanted to go hunting before sunset. We should leave now – unless you want to go later, of course. I wouldn’t mind.”

I squeezed my eyes shut as tight as I could, only to open them again moments later. Light footsteps were making their way up the stairs, and what would follow if he saw me with these papers lying around?

Drama. First he’d call Mother, and of course Father would be wherever she was…

I didn’t need an open crisis right now. I needed to forget

“Coming! I’ll be with you in a sec!”

Quickly tucking away the last of the papers – being very careful not to let my eyes roam over the contents again – I rushed down the stairs. I kept my gaze straight ahead while I walked past my family, ignoring the way they looked so happy there on the couch.

Their facade of happiness was oddly authentic to be faked.

But though my eyes were fixed on the front door, I could help but peek shortly to the side.

My father’s eyes met mine, and that one hundredth of an instant was enough to let my thoughts pour over the subject I’d been introduced to in the attic.

His eyebrows creased, but otherwise no reaction was evident.

My eyes focused on the door again and before anyone could say a word, I was out.

His hands explore her body, sliding lower and lower while their lips connect in a fiery kiss. Feverish affection glows through their every breath, every shiver, every gasp, the heat of his skin melting the ice of hers…

While desperately clinging to each other, their lips find a moment of freedom to whisper, “I love you.”

All was black.

That was the first thing I noticed about my surroundings. No light, no colors existed – all was ruthlessly dark.

Soon I was aware of my own movements – the intense trembling of my entire body, the frantic gasping, and quake of my throat. There were noises, too – my screaming ricocheted through the blackness and was the only sound my ears could percept.

Finally the darkness cleared, and I was able to make out shapes. My desk, closet, carpet…

“Nessie, Nessie, talk to me! What’s wrong? Are you hurt? Should I get Carlisle?”

The man who had just been starring in my dream now clung to a different lady. I was in my Jacob’s arms, crying away the memory of the nightmare that had broken through my defenses.

He kept muttering something to me, words that didn’t make any sense in my clouded mind. His tone was enough to tell me what he was trying to say – Jacob was desperately searching for the words that would calm me down.

When I finally focused on the words, I was thoroughly disappointed.

They were the wrong words.

“Nessie, honey, it’s all right. You’re safe. I’m here. Please don’t cry.”

I suppose I was confusing him with my lack of response, but there was nothing I could do. His words didn’t pacify me.

After an endless minute of whispers, I ripped myself free from his scorching body and shook my head.

“No, no, no, Jake. You… you have to…”

“What do I have to do? Anything!”

“Say…”

What?

“Say you love me.”

“But… what do you mean?” Jacob whispered, his eyebrows pulling together as he ran out of explanations for my disorientated state, “Of course I love you. I always have.”

“No you haven’t! Notalways!”

Jacob was speechless.

I wondered idly whether his silence was based on confusion or realization. Not that it mattered – the letters were real, and nothing could wipe away those horrid words that should have belonged to me instead of my mother.

“Renesmee?”

My head snapped up at my full name. The familiar, high-pitched voice seemed so soothing in my current state, but somewhere deep in my mind a warning bell was ringing. I couldn’t trust this voice anymore.

“Renesmee, what’s wrong?”

My mother and father had joined us in my bedroom, the former frantically stroking my hair while I stared at her distraughtly. Should I slap her hand away? Was it her fault?

Behind her, my father shook his head.

“Was it a nightmare? Tell us what’s wrong, Renesmee.”

A white hand suddenly emerged on my mother’s equally pale shoulder.

“Calm down, Bella. It’s a misunderstanding, that’s all.”

Misunderstanding?

I suppressed the hope that was suddenly growing in my heart. It couldn’t be that simple.

A misunderstanding.

I met my father’s eyes, refusing to let the tiny fracture of hope show on my face, though all the while knowing he’d read it in my mind anyway.

“Yes, a misunderstanding. Nessie, you need to turn down your imagination,” he reassured me, a sad smile forming on his lips. “Knowing your mother, you’re a little prone to overreaction.”

Bella raised her eyebrows and shoved my father playfully to the side. “Wait, so now I’m the one who ran over to the Volturi to kill myself? The one who had me kidnapped so I wouldn’t be able to go to La Push to visit Jake?”

All good humor disappeared from Edward’s appearance as he read the abrupt panic in my mind.

“It really isn’t how it seems, Nessie.”

I startled everybody by suddenly jumping up and racing upstairs, returning back to my room before anyone had the time to follow. I threw the bundle of letters on the bed and retreated to the corner, as if the words written on them were poisonous.

Which they were – to me, anyway.

After staring at me for one long second, my mother quickly picked up the topmost letter from the pile and withdrew the wrinkled paper from its envelope. It didn’t take long for her to read it through, but each passing moment made her face contort into more and more of a frown.

Once she was done, she passed the letter on to Jacob, avoiding my murderous glare.

“Why didn’t you tell me, Edward?”

My father bent down to caress her face. “She had to tell you herself.”

“Oh, screw your psychology crap!” I snarled at him, suddenly hating everything in the world, “You didn’t want to get yourself involved, that’s all! Or maybe you’re just too weak to admit that your wife is having an affair with my boyfriend!”

Edward straightened up and took a careful step towards me. Shaking his head calmly, he spoke in a consoling voice, “A misunderstanding, Nessie. There is no affair.”

My mother wasn’t as calm as her husband. She was staring at me incredulously, her face a mask of sadness. “Oh my… Renesmee, is that what you believe? You think Jacob and I are still… No! You’ve got it all wrong, darling!”

I had been counting on her denial, so her words did my crazed state no good.

“You know what – I don’t care if it was all in the past or not. The main point is that you’ve been hiding this from me. That’s pretty suspicious, don’t you think? You’re nothing but a snake in the grass, you… you…”

I turned my back on my once loving mother, now thoroughly disgusted with everything my family had to offer. Lies, pretence, and secrecy – what a perfect package.

“Honey, let us explain things to you,” Jacob began, glancing quickly at my mother before turning his gaze back on me.

Bella appeared beside me and gripped my arm tightly. “Yes, please just listen for a minute. You’re jumping to wrong conclusions.” She paused for a second. “Not that I can blame you. We should have told you long ago.”

I refused to answer their questioning gazes, and chose to stare out of the window instead.

An owl was flying against the dark night sky; its feathers were quivering in the gentle wind as it prepared to dive for a mouse waiting patiently in the long grass of an empty field.

Behind me, I could hear Mother begin her tale.

“Those letters you found… I know they must have shocked you. But you see, the story behind them is complicated. Yes, Jacob and I do have a past together.”

I focused on the glass of the closed window and saw the reflection of my father’s shape shift in the dark room. I couldn’t make out his face in the vague mirror image of his form, but could sense his discomfort in the thick air of the sealed space.

Mother wasn’t oblivious to his distress, either.

My eyes filled with tears as I watched her move to Edward’s side and wrap her arms around his neck. I wished I could let Jacob close enough to do the same to me, but the ache inside was still too strong.

“Jacob and I were best friends at first, but we grew more and more attached as time passed by. But it was an illusion.”

The owl swerved quickly for the ground and almost hit its beak against the hard earth as the mouse scrambled away.

“An illusion,” I whispered, turning back to look at my family, “What is it now? A misunderstanding or an illusion?”

“Both.”

Jacob was at my side, laying his large hand on my upper arm. His eyes were pleading with me, begging me to believe their story.

“We deluded ourselves into thinking we were in love.”

I fought hard against the relieve flooding through me, but I wasn’t strong enough – My whole body, my spirit, my mind were so tightly bound to Jacob’s that I couldn’t help but trust his every word. Our destinies were entwined; we were supposed to be just as we were – in love.

“Yes,” my father spoke, now holding Mother by the waist. The joined shape stepped closer to me, both pairs of eyes smiling while their mouths did not.

“You know the truth already, Nessie. Think about it – You didn’t exist yet, and your mother was the only connection Jacob had to you. You think the letters prove how little Jacob loves you. But what if it were the opposite?”

My eyes turned to Jacob.

His pull on me was so strong, much too strong to resist. Everything about him seemed to represent the things I loved most about a man; every little detail enticed me to fall into his arms to cry my pain away.

Helplessly in love” had never been a truer expression for anyone else.

“I love you, Nessie.”

Had it all been delusion? A misunderstanding?

It didn’t matter.

I was too weak to fight against the pull, anyway.

“Yeah, I know. I love you, too.”

His hands explore her body, sliding lower and lower while their lips connect in a fiery kiss. Feverish affection glows through their every breath, every shiver, every gasp, the heat of his skin melting the ice of hers…

While desperately clinging to each other, their lips find a moment of freedom to whisper,

“I love you.”

I woke up once more, gasping for air.

“Shhh, Nessie. It was only a nightmare.”

I nodded, clasping the blanket for self-assurance.

“Zombies again? Next time you’ll have to punch them in the face before they eat you.”

I forced a smile, and lay my head back down again.

“Sleep now, honey. It’s all right.”

I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep.

If I gave in to the fatigue, my dreams would conjure up the “zombies” again. Like last night. And the night before.

“I wonder where you got that nightmare from,” Jacob mumbled, already half-asleep, “No more horror movies for you, I guess.”

It was only a delusion.