My last breath
Set after Edwards return in New Moon. Bella dosn't react well to Edwards sudden arrival, but can she keep herself away from him? No, obviously not. Can Edward keep himself with Bella? If it's to save her life, of course. Who's Leon?
3. Chapter 3
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Edward had just left as the first light poured through my window. There, in the illumination of daylight this morning’s events ran through my head, viciously tugging at my consciousness.
I wanted to forget his pleading, his declarations, his expressions but I couldn’t. Whatsmore, each time I considered ending his misery, I’d remember the pain I had felt up until just hours previously. The screaming nights, the days that rolled into one big blur of existence. He left me and lied to me. I just couldn’t get past that point no matter which way I looked at things. My love for him was far too intense, far too involved. The conclusion I had came to earlier this morning still rang true, even after the most intense scrutiny. No matter what, I always got hurt.
It was ironic that our problems weren’t, for me anyways, that he was a vampire. He couldn’t just be with me. Completely, for better and for worse. I didn’t care what the consequences were once we were together. Just to be with him, that was all I wanted. I wondered though, was that on offer with Edward? Could he commit, even if he thought he was doing wrong by me? So far when problems arose he always left me in one way or another. Ignoring me after the traffic accident, wanting me to move to Florida with Renee after James attack, leaving me after the incident with Jasper….
As the day grew brighter, a number of things became clearer to me. I couldn’t let myself be with him, for now. However, I did love him. Unfortunately my heart was just still very much broken. The pain was bearable now I knew the truth, but pain nonetheless Finally I let myself be. I thought nothing, just watching the particles of dust dancing in the shaft of light which struck across my room. I settled and felt calm, preparing myself for seeing him again. Whenever that might be…
‘Isabella Maria Swan’, Charlie bellowed from outside my door, ‘I’m coming in’. My muscles tightened all through my body, recoiling at the idea of a misinformed lecture. Nevertheless, I straightened myself out to listen as I wondered what my father must think of my odd lifestyle…
‘Now listen to me, you’ve been gone three days and then you show up with him, of all people..…’ As Charlie spoke I drowned him out. I didn’t need to hear about Edward from someone else. I had taken care of that. I know he left me, I know he didn’t deserve to ‘waltz right back in here’. And so I waited and let him get it out of his system. A man with a gun did not need to have a chip this big on his shoulder. My mind wandered as I concentrated on a vein that dilated just above his right eyebrow. Between nodding where I felt appropriate and muttering sorry, I became concerned with the coming day. If only I could see the future. Would he still be here? I never really knew with Edward.
‘Bells, are you listening to me at all? Did you hear what I said? Is he coming back?...Will he be….Something…something….grounded….serious trouble….no fun ever again…’, Charlie stared down at me, his face red from a rant I didn’t need, asking questions that didn’t matter right now. Thinking of the Clearwater’s and their loss I panicked. Charlie looked tired and stressed with dark rings under his puffy sleep deprived eyes. He didn’t need this extra stress. Now, from the outside perspective I could look into my miserable despair. I could see how difficult this was for him. I was humiliated and so sorry for everything I’d put him through, when we only had each other here my choices affected him just as much as they did me.
‘Dad, this isn’t necessary. We’ve spoken. It’s fine. Edward and I, well…we’re just friends.’ Trying on that word, it felt so strange. Edward and I were never friends.
‘Really? Well good for you Bella’, Charlie beamed at me. A look of pride enveloped his face, which quickly turned into a softer more thoughtful expression. I could read these particular thoughts like a picture book. Of course, he was still in love with my mother Renee. As he left the room I stared after him, considering the source of his glee. In his eyes I had achieved what he never would be able to. He thought I had finally gotten over Edward. Even after Renee remarried, he pined for her. Nothing in the house had changed since she left it.
I didn’t want to become my father; I would not spend my life waiting for someone to come back to me.
Charlie walked slowly down the hall jingling his car keys. ‘I’ll be home late Bells. You are still grounded though you know that right. Oh, an are you going to call Jacob?,’ he called back after me. For some reason I didn’t think that was a question. I heard the front door close after him and I finally dragged myself out of bed. I showered quickly and looked at myself in the mirror for the first time in months. I was gaunt and slighter looking than usual. Running my fingers through my wet hair would have to suffice for today. I contemplated pulling on that blue blouse Edward liked so much. Holding it in my hand I brushed the silk against my face.
This simple blue blouse....it seemed so ridiculous now. Material. Buttons. Nothing more, nothing less....This blouse had tormented me these past few months. I couldn’t bear to look at it or throw it out. It was one of the few memories I had of him. This blouse was my concrete evidence. It said to me, Edward Cullen existed and he loved you. Soit stayed there, in the back corner of my wardrobe stuffed between a tennis shoe and a bag of my mother’s clothes.
I walked over to my trash can and jammed it in. I didn’t need it anymore. ‘Today is a sweater and jeans day’, I mumbled to myself.....I love him. I do. This is just, for my own good.
Be patient with your soul Bella.
I gathered my books together and put them into my backpack. As I was racing down the stairs I tripped on the last two steps. Pulling my forearms out to protect my face instinctively I prepared myself for the fall. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Now wait...
‘I’m getting better at…’, I said to myself, stopping mid sentence while my mind caught up with my body. Before I even looked up at his face I knew it was Edward, I could smell him. I realised what had lessened my pain. No, I hadn’t gotten better at falling, it was Edwards’s arms and they enveloped me. He didn’t let go. Yes…this was heaven.
‘Edward.’, I gasped. I steadied myself, somehow finding the will to leave his grip and took in his expression. It was blank. He looked tired. Still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Why was his expression so hardened? Had he come to tell me he was leaving once and for all? I didn’t care…I’d hate him forever if he left again. My eyes started to placate with the oncoming of tears. My checks burned, red blotches sullying my dismal attempt at acting aloof.
‘What do you want?’
We stood there, staring into each others eyes. Time passed but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t control anything anymore. I had to know though. If this was goodbye, I had to know.
‘That's not an answer.' God I wish it was. I wish it was...Patience Bella. Patience Bella.
'Have you come to say goodbye Edward?...Again?’, I rasped. The latter part of my question really wasn’t necessary, but, I threw it in as a protective measure. When I thought of this conversation later today, at 21, 30, 50, 75, 90, on my death bed…whenever…I wanted to know I had hurt him too. He had gotten away with far too much.
‘I’m sorry I ignored your wishes…I called over because I thought I could accompany you to school. For your own safety of course, Victoria may still be around. Would that be ok?’ Strangely his voice had a roughened edge to it, as if he hadn’t used it in hours. My arm was burning and as I looked down I could see why. Edward had grasped at my arm as I fell but he never let go of it, even after I had clearly found solid ground. As I looked at him more closely I noticed everything about him was dishevelled. His usually pristine clothes were wrinkled, the ends of his pants soaked from forgetting to avoid the ubiquitous puddles of Forks. Tufts of his hair stood up here and there. And, as if to complete the look there was a smudge of black across his porcelain skin.
‘Oh right. Well...sorry Edward. Yes, that would be….nice.’ I felt like a dick. Here he was, picking me up off the floor, driving Miss Daisy to school and I attack him for trying to make Forks a safe place again.
He let go of my arm and led me to his waiting Volvo, as ever, being the perfect gentlemen. Edward lithely opened my door, sat me in the passenger seat and belted me up. As I settled in I tried to prepare myself for this journey. This would be difficult; I would be in such close proximity to him. I had so many questions that I didn’t have the courage to ask. There were so many things I wanted to say. I wanted to scream at him, bawl and screech with excitement all at the same time. Was he staying in Forks for long? What had he been doing to get so dishevelled? Did this mean he really did care?
‘Right. Well, good morning Bella. I’m sorry I lied to you. Victoria isn’t actually anywhere near Forks. Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper and Alice have found her. They’re dealing with her as we speak.’ The gentle hum of his volvo's engine distracted me. His scent distracted me.
I couldn't breath, I didn't want to. I just wanted to keep perfectly still, completely absorbing this moment into my minds eye. I wanted to tell him he's beautiful. That I was a fool to pretend to be some independent women...I can't stay away. He is my north, my south, my east and my west.
But all I could manage was..
'That's ok....I mean….What?’
Turning to him, with crimson licking my cheeks, I noticed he wasn't too unlike me. Confused, frightened, excited even? This was so strange, what was going on with Edward? He’s usually so forward, so toward. Now he was mumbling. What did he want me here for??
‘I’m sorry Bella. My behaviour is terrible...ridiculous. What I mean to say is, I wanted to talk to you in private. I know I couldn’t do that while other people were or are...or..there…so...what?...yes..um…this was the best I could do. I need to tell you some things.’
‘Ok Edward.’ My mind was racing, my palms were sweating. I couldn’t understand what he was saying and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know. What was happening? How was he still driving?
‘Ok. I'm sorry, this isn't the perfect setting but... First of all, I love you. Second, I’m staying here in Forks Bella. That is of course if you don’t mind? Thirdly, I’m going to do whatever it takes to get you back and I’ll keep telling you and showing you every day until you believe me. I’m not going anywhere without you ever again.’
‘Ok Edward.’ All I wanted to say was I love you too, but I couldn’t, the words just wouldn’t come out. I loved him, but I wouldn't let myself be so open to that pain so quickly again.
‘Look, my Bella, I know you don’t trust me, but you do know me. I could never leave you now. I didn’t enjoy leaving you. Can I please stay with you? I’ll be whatever you want me to be for you. Just please, please, let me stay. Don’t shut me out love.’
‘Ok Edward.’ Tears streamed down my face and my nose ran as we drove to school in silence.
Everything collected in a globular mess on my chin soaking my sleeves as I wiped them away with unnecessary force. My eyes swelled, and became red raw. The skin around them blotched with red. My heart pounded, my breathing soared.
For the first time in months I felt alive and feeling alive felt beautiful.