"Have I found you, Flightless bird? Jealous, weeping." They meet, each no more than a shell filled with hate, pain, and misery. They fall in love, slowly opening up to each other and learning to trust again. They part, betrayed and hurt. The rest they cannot decide - first they must come to terms with their own past. Takes place mid-Twilight, for reasons I cannot divulge yet. Inspired by "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine from the Twilight Soundtrack - though this story began before I even bought it.
3. Chapter 3: Torn.
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ONE YEAR AGO
It’s a normal rainy day in the town of Forks, Washington. I drive my brothers and sisters to school in my Volvo, speeding down the rain-slicked roads at twice the legal speed. For some reason I’m anxious to get to school – and that is a very bad thing.
We pull into a spot smoothly, and everyone gets out of the car. Immediately, the make their way to the building, while I hang back and lean against my car, waiting. For what? Who – to be more precise.
Bella Swan’s noisy pick-up rumbles into the lot, and finds a parking spot nearly seven cars down from mine. She gets out and slams the door, sending a shower of rust specs falling to the ground. I watch as she cautiously walks across a patch of ice to the back of her car, slinging her backpack on her shoulder.
She stops at the back of her truck and stares down at the wheel with some sort of sudden fixation.
There is a sudden squealing – a screaming of protest from the tires of a spinning van that is fast approaching. Her head snaps up and swivels in the direction of the car. Her eyes widen with fear as time slows to the point of quicksand.
I am frozen – I don’t know what to do. If I saved her, I could risk exposing my whole family. What do I do? The question repeats over and over in my head like a frantic mantra. My mind is screaming, filling with shocked thoughts around me and my own alike. What do I do?
The car is coming dangerously close to her – it will hit the back of her truck – right where she is standing. She’d be dead upon impact – neck snapped or skull crushed beyond repair. Her head turns, and she looks away from the terrifying van.
Her wide, dark brown eyes turn in my direction and stare straight thought me. They penetrate my soul, demanding to know why I am not saving her. I see immense depth in her eyes, and they swim with emotions – fear, terror, helplessness, and over all, betrayal.
Before I can react, the van skids forward, smashing into her truck, pinning her body between the jagged metal. Even from where I am standing, I can hear her heart beat quickly and then slow, pounding out its last, final beat.
I remember today’s crash, and the life I saved. I remember the fear in her innocent, blue eyes, and the smell of her silky, platinum hair. I remember the sound of her heart, pounding in her chest with terror, and the sound of her melodic voice.
Caydence knew now. She saw everything that happened with her own eyes. But I knew she wouldn’t talk. She couldn’t even answer a question in class, let alone be interviewed live on CNN for her personal account on the existence of vampires. Hell, she probably didn’t even know I was a vampire.
But she would start asking questions. For all I knew, she hadn’t talked to anyone else but me – and I knew she would be demanding answers from me. How did you get over there so fast? Why did you save me? How did you do it? Why did you do it?
What would I say? How could I quench her thirst for the truth and not get my family hurt? The answer to that was simple, of course.
Keep your mouth shut.
I drift home from school in a daze, reviewing the crash over and over in my mind. It didn’t add up.
I’d seen him, at least twenty yards away. I’d seen the cars coming at me at more than fifty miles an hour. I remember exactly where he had been, and then, impossibly, he appeared right by my side, pushing me out of the path of the cars. I’d seen the two cars collide inches from his face, and the overwhelming fear brimming in his impossibly golden eyes. Something had risen to the surface in him at that moment, and the way he looked at me made me felt like he was seeing someone else.
That night, I sleep restlessly, waking often and breaking out into a cold sweat. I dream, reviewing the crash again and again. The main focus is the boy – whose name I still don’t know, seeing as I never thought to ask – with his dreamy golden eyes and thick, strong muscles. I can still feel the sensation of him holding me, and I enjoy it more than I should. For a reason not obvious to me, he’s the only man able to touch me with out my heart accelerating in unreasonable fear.
The next morning, I hurry to school, and I know exactly why.
When I arrive on the campus, I search desperately for the silver Volvo. It’s not there, and my heart sinks as I enter the building and head to homeroom.
Period three Biology rolls around, and I cannot get down the hallway fast enough. I’m worried beyond logical belief that he may not be there. It doesn’t even occur to me that he might be dangerous – though if he was dangerous, why would he have saved me? More to the point, it doesn’t occur to me that he might be something other than human.
My heart sinks, however, when I see the empty seat beside mine. I sit down, wallowing in despair, and don’t even bother to begin the drill that the teacher had written on the blackboard.
He probably thinks that I’m going to call CNN or something. I might – if I had a working telephone. He doesn’t know that I would never give him away to the media – that I am grateful beyond belief that he decided to save me – no matter how he did it.
Someone knocks on the door, but I do not look up. The teacher answers it and converses with someone in a low, angry voice. Some student is late to class, and apparently, his pass looks forged. The teacher relents, and allows the student entrance.
It isn’t until I hear the chair beside me scrape that I look up, startled. It’s him. My breath catches in my throat, and he looks down at me with a gaze that says a million things all at once.
I make a feeble attempt at speaking, but my voice is hoarse from disuse. I try clearing my throat, but a straggly noise comes out that he cannot understand. I grab a piece of paper and scribble out a note.
What happened yesterday?
I pass it to him and wait as he considers his words and then scribbles down a response in a clear, neat script.
I saved you. Does that require explanation?
No. Not really. Thank you, by the way. You don’t know how grateful I am.
I didn’t catch your name.
Do you necessarily need to know someone to be thankful?
Do you necessarily need to answer every question with another question?
I suppose not. My name is Edward Cullen.
I pause to consider. Such an old fashioned name, Edward. I think my grandfather might have been named Edward – but I never really knew him. Either way, it wasn’t a popular name anymore.
Thank you, Edward.
Isn’t that where you’re supposed to tell me your name?
Right. I’m Caydence Debeuss.
Sort of. How do you know him?
Well I don’t, obviously.
My parents are always playing classical music around the house.
My mother loved Classical music.
That’s a unique name, Caydence.
I like how he didn’t ask about my mother and the reason why I used past tense.
Thank you. My mother was in love with music, I almost had a brother named Claude.
How did we start talking about music?
You asked about my name.
You still haven’t answered my question from before.
Which question was that?
Don’t act like you don’t know. I asked how, exactly, you saved me.
He stares at my paper, and squints like he suddenly can’t decipher my handwriting. And then, mercilessly, the teacher steals the note from his desk. He looks relieved, but I’m angry. Of course. Of course he got out before he could answer.
“Please refrain from passing notes in class, Mr. and Miss Lovebird.” The class giggles and I turn red. Deep down, I kind of like it.
Luckily, the class is over in five minutes. The bell rings and I collect my books, and Edward does not leave.
“Thanks again,” I manage to choke out. He follows me out the door, but stops me before I can hurry off to my next class.“I don’t think I’ve saved you just yet.”