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We Are Broken

Even vampires aren't perfect. They make mistakes. As her anger evaporated, I nodded my head, "I'm sorry Bella." I started, "I wish you would let me explain..." I left my sentence hanging in the air. She began to shake her head violently, her breathing coming in short gasps again. This was the part I had feared the most. The part I knew was inevitable. The part I knew I deserved. I asked the question I wanted so badly to avoid, everything in my body seizing up, waiting for the inevitable, "Do you want me to...leave?" My voice broke on the last word, and my breathing became gasps as I awaited her answer.


4. Murderer of Innocence

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Who's gonna call on Sunday morning?
Who's gonna drive you home?
I just want one more chance,
To put my arms in fragile hands.

I thought you said forever;
(Over and over)
This sleepless night becomes
bitter oblivion.
These thoughts run through my head;
(Over and over)
Complaints of violins become
my only friends.

-Paperthin Hymn by Anberlin

Oblivion is a dark place. There is no beauty; only pain and hurt. The pain and guilt at what I'd done has consumed me whole. I couldn't move from where I stood in Bella's room, staring at her; staring through her really, as darkness was blurring my vision. The darkness confined me to this prison where I stood, unmoving. Anywhere near Bella is hardly a prison, no not a prison at all...even if darkness is clouding my sight... Or was it that I was afraid to move, for fear that, once I jumped out of her bedroom window, this night becomes true; becomes reality. As if by leaving the confines of her room; crossing some barrier her window pane has become, this horrible nightmare will be finalized and I will remain in oblivion and darkness until my love takes me back.

Yes, that's it. I'm a coward. The realization I'd just come to accept frightened me so much that I was frozen in place. I could still see Bella everyday at school, and I could still watch her from the shadows like I silently promised her, and I could still sit outside her window and admire her while she sleeps. 'Boyfriend' is just a title...a title I may never get back. I wanted so badly to marry you Bella. To be with you and stay faithfully by your side throughout your lifetime. This is all a complete misunderstanding! Please!! Why won't you listen?! But...what if she doesn't even allow me to stay here in Forks? What if she asks me to leave this place as well? Then I would never see her!! I can't live without her!!

I began silently panicking again, still staring through Bella; still surrounded by darkness. "Edward please," Bella pleaded, looking up through the mess that had become her hair. She was still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, even with a tear streaked face, red swollen eyes, and a mess of hair hanging limply around her. Her voice brought me out of my darkness, if only for the moment. She is what I need to keep my head above the black. She is my life preserver. I need you Bella! My survival depends on it!

"Don't make this any harder on me then it already is..." She said this is the tiniest, most broken-hearted whisper I'd ever heard, then sighed as the tears came again, and hid her face behind her hair. No Bella, love, please don't hide that beautiful face from me. Allow me to see it this close, one last time. Please, I beg of you! I would never ask for such a thing aloud. I don't deserve such an honor. I would just continue to silently hope. As she said those words, something inside the deepest parts of me began to click into place. I took in a deep breath as I realized that I could walk out of this room; I could walk away from Bella; I would walk away from Bella, if only for her benefit. She want's you to leave, Edward. Respect her wishes. Do this for her. Find the strength, Edward, you must!

She was in pain because of me, because of my monstrous ways, because of my selfishness, my idiocy, and I would not allow myself to be the cause of any more. I loved her way too deeply, and though I am extremely, and irrevocably selfish when it comes to Bella, seeing her in pain gives me the strength to walk away. Seeing her sitting in the corner of her room, doubled over in pain, weeping like I'd never seen her weep before, holding herself, hiding herself, the pain I feel radiating off of her gives me the will to leave her bedroom.

I want to go to her, to comfort her so badly, that the will to leave nearly collapses around me, but as I began to take the necessary step towards her, she whimpered and tried to subside deeper into the corner of her room. That one gesture shattered what was left of my unbeating heart. My chest felt tight, my throat closed up, I couldn't breath. If I were human, I'd be suffocating and turning blue by now. I need to say goodbye to you Bella. I will tell you one last time how much I love you, and if it is your wishes to send me away and never talk to me again, then your wish is always my command, you know that. I willed my body to relax enough to speak.

"I'm so sorry Bella." I confessed these words as I walked towards the window. "I never meant for any of this to happen. I wanted you to be my future. My wife-" She yelped in pain as I said this and my sentence was cut short. I couldn't bare to see her this way anymore. Not that you don't deserve to watch her suffer so you can suffer along side her! You are nothing but a low life, no count, inconsiderate, unforgivable, unfaithful, lying, cheating, murderer of innocence! You bring the worst out in people. You don't even deserve to be in her presence! You are the most unworthy creature... I stopped thinking all together. I deserved to wallow in my own pity and take the lashing of my thoughts, but right now I had to confess my love to Bella. It may be my last chance. I would return to my thoughts after I have told Bella how I truly feel about her.

"I will always love you, Bella..." I reached the barrier between reality and need; Bella's window, and turned to look at her one last time. She was still hiding behind her hair. "Bella, come back to me, please." I heard her gasp and watched as she looked up and directly at me. It was like electricity again as she stared into my eyes. I didn't give her a chance to speak, out of fear of a denial, so I jumped out of her window quickly, and headed towards the forest; drowning beneath the darkness once again. A denial from Bella of my last hopes and wishes would be the ultimate punishment. That, I could not live with.

Right as I broke through the tress I came to a stop. Hidden in the shadows - hidden from Bella's sight - I turned and watched her window. There was no movement from her room, and her window was still open. Maybe I should go back... No! You have to respect what Bella wants. You will not go back. You are no longer welcome until Bella says otherwise. The thought of being unwelcome in Bella's presence staked a claim over me and thrashed at my unbeating heart. I doubled over in pain, and had to grasp the vegetation to keep myself standing.

Then, as if by some unspoken command to place me in further agony, I watched as Bella dragged herself slowly to her window, and placing all of her weight on the pane to hold herself up, she peered out towards the forest where I stood, wearing the most broken-hearted expression I had ever seen. I wasn't sure how it could even be remotely possible at this point, but the look on her face broke my heart into a million tiny pieces all over again.

I heard her sigh, and nearly inaudibly - even for a vampire - whisper five words that made my heart begin mend itself, "I love you, Edward...Always." Then she shut the window tightly, cutting off the barrier between hopes and reality. Now I was stuck in reality, feeling more alone then I'd ever felt before. Hearing the lock on the window click into place, I gasped and finally fell to the ground, sitting in the dirt just staring wide-eyed at her window, willing it to open again.

I hoped so badly that she would open the window again, calling out to me to come back to her, to hold me in her arms, to kiss me, to love me. Of course, I was let down. She did not come to the window to open it again. She did not call out to me to come back to her. I could not be held in her arms. She would not kiss me. She may still love me, but I don't deserve her love, no matter how badly I yearn for it.

You can not afford to hope, Edward. The pain is too great...but still...maybe after a little time she will come to forgive me and I could once again prove my love to her. I sighed deeply, releasing an ocean of oxygen out of my lungs, shook my head slowly and stood, trying my hardest to regain my composure. I succeeded after a moment and journeyed farther into the forest. I couldn't hope for her love again. I couldn't wish for her to open her arms wide and embrace me, warming my body against hers, loving me with all of her soul. I couldn't yearn for her compassion and kindness; her love and devotion. I couldn't hope for another kiss from her soft warm lips. I couldn't expect another chance from her, and no matter how much I wanted it - needed it - I didn't expect it, because, of course, I did not under any circumstances deserve it. Like I did not deserve such an amazing woman in the first place.

I breathed in deeply to calm my nerves. They boiled over and nearly caused me to break. At the same moment, Jasper's scent once again washed over me reminding me of something I needed to do. Jasper. I couldn't blame him, still, despite how much I wanted to. He did what he thought was right, rather or not it truly was. He was only looking out for Bella, and for that, I could never blame him, or be angry with his actions. However, I did want to speak to him.

Breaking into a run, I followed his scent through the forest. It was only a short minute or so before I found him in a small clearing; Alice was sitting beside him, hunched over, head bowed as if she were ashamed. Her thoughts proved that theory correct. I heard her sobs and stopped short. Maybe I shouldn't intrude... I listened to her apologize continuously to Jasper for what she'd done...for what we'd done. She was completely distraught. I listened to her thoughts, which revealed that she was frightened beyond words; her thoughts were almost incoherent.

Jasper! Oh my God, Jasper! What have I done?! What if he leaves? I won't be able to live without him! What can I do?! What should I say? Oh, Jasper, please forgive me! Her thoughts were a complete mess. I knew exactly how she felt. It was, however, our own fault. We only had ourselves to blame for this mess, and she and I both knew and accepted that.

I turned my attention to Jasper. His expression was blank, almost cold. He features betrayed no emotions, but I could still hear what he was thinking, and as I heard his thoughts, I immediately regretted listening. The guilt that weighed me down already increased drastically, suffocating me, crushing me beneath it. Alice, my beloved...how could you ever do this to me?Do you not know how much I love and cherish you? Do you not know how much you truly mean to me; how much I adore you, more then anything else on this planet? Have you not a single clue? You are the love of my entire existence; my everything. How could you do this to me? You are my wife, Alice! ...And I thought Edward was supposed to be my brother...Edward...I wonder how things are going with him and Bella...I hope he understands why I told her... His thoughts were cut short when I was close enough for him to feel my wild emotions and his head snapped up in my direction.

"Edward." Was all he said before looking back at Alice. Simply acknowledging my presence. Alice's small frame tensed, then relaxed almost simultaneously. "Edward." She mimicked quietly, then her head snapped up, too. "Oh, Edward!" She said staring at me intently, a deep crease between her eyes. "Edward, I'm so sorry!" She apologized. I held up my hand to stop her, and just nodded. I didn't come here for an apology.

"Your not the only one to blame, Alice." I told her, "You don't owe me an apology." Edward, I am sorry. Really, I'm so sorry! She wasn't going to hear any of my reasoning, truth or not. Then her thoughts changed, for me it was for the worse. How is Bella? Her eyes grew increasingly sorrowful. I knew she regretted what she'd done. I ignored her questioning, and she understood not to push it any further. Even without her gift, she knew things hadn't turned out well for Bella and I. I knew better then to, but I still had hope that I would eventually be forgiven. I would wait as long as I had to. I was prepared to do just that.

Jasper felt the pain and despair raging inside of me and a calm washed over me. He gazed at both Alice and I then took a deep, even breath. "Edward, I'm sure I don't have to tell you what my opinions on this whole thing are." Jasper began. Indeed, I could hear how he felt through the thoughts he was having. He was very angry with both of us, and deeply hurt, however, he also felt our pain and regret run deep.

Jasper wasn't ready to forgive either Alice or I yet, which I didn't blame him for not one bit, but I felt that he would forgive us eventually. I nodded, answering his question. "I'm not ready to forgive either of you yet. You both know that I will, but right now, I can't. I just need time..." Alice's thoughts were frantic, hoping more then anything that Jasper wouldn't leave. She could wait forever for him to forgive her, but she couldn't live without him near her. She'd give him all the time he needs, but leaving was out of the question.

"Jasper, are you going to leave?" I asked him, speaking the words that Alice was too afraid to speak. She felt as insignificant and undeserving of Jasper as I felt of Bella. I couldn't hear the answer in his thoughts, and Alice hadn't had any visions of Jasper leaving in the near future either. He glanced at me, seeming unsure of himself. Finally, he answered with a sigh and a simple "No."

Alice let out a sigh of relief and quickly sprang up from where she was sitting and embraced Jasper tightly. He was rigid under her tiny arms, but she seemed oblivious to it. "Thank you." she choked out through tearless sobs of joy. I was truly happy for Alice - not that my own misery didn't overshadow that happiness by a lot - but there were still reasons why I came here; for answers which I intended on getting.

"Jasper?" I said to him, demanding his attention by calling his name. Strangely my voice rang with some sort of authority I'd never used with Jasper before. He didn't seem to notice. He looked up at me curiously, still tense in Alice's arms. She finally realized how uncomfortable he was, and released her hold on him, stepping away from him, staring down at the ground. She was ashamed at her outbreak. I could empathize.

Holding Jasper's attention now, I continued, doing my best to keep the disapproval out of my voice, "Why did you tell Bella?" I asked, still a bit annoyed. "Wasn't that my right Jasper?" I finished my question, and raised an eye brow, waiting patiently for a reply. "Edward," Jasper said my name as if I were missing the point to something that was right in front of my face. "By telling her, I made it easier on you." He stated matter-of-factly. "I did you a favor."

"A favor?" I asked, incredulous. I had absolutely no idea where he was going with this. He sighed in frustration, and explained his reasoning. "Edward, do you honestly believe that you would have been able to look Bella in her big brown eyes and tell her what you, her boyfriend, the love of her life, and Alice, her very best friend had done?" As his words registered in my brain, my whole world began to crumble where I stood.

I knew what I'd done was completely and utterly wrong, that much had gotten through to me crystal clear, but what I'd failed to consider through my frantic state of mind and race to keep Bella mine, was what would really hurt her. She had loved me so deeply, so intensely. She was the ultimate gift. The best thing anyone could have ever asked for and I had had her in my grasp, only to push her away. She was the purest person I'd ever met and I've tainted that purity.

I was the one she had loved; fiercely loved, without holding back, and she had trusted me whole-heartedly just as she'd trusted Alice. Alice had become Bella's best friend, her very best and truest friend and we'd both betrayed Bella. That knowledge alone must hurt Bella so much worse then me being unfaithful to her. Wow! I thought to myself. Betrayed by her boyfriend and her best friend all at once. I collapsed to my knees before Alice and Jasper as realization hit me like a hard blow to the stomach. I sighed heavily and bowed my head in defeat.

I was still some what annoyed that I didn't get the chance to tell Bella what I'd done, yet at the same time, I was greatful that the words didn't have to come from my lips. Jasper was right, after all, now that I thought about it, I'm not sure I would have been able to tell Bella the truth. I felt like such a coward. With my head still bowed, I spoke quietly, "Jasper, please tell me what you told her." He looked down at me, unsure. Are you sure you want to hear it? He thought. I breathed in deeply, suddenly unsure of myself as well, then slowly nodded, knowing I needed to hear it.

Do you really want to know, Edward? I found my thoughts contradicting myself, and began to second guess rather or not I really did want to know. Jasper noticed my sudden apprehension and felt my nervousness. Edward, your in a bad enough state of mind as it is. Jasper thought directly to me. You don't have to throw yourself over a cliff. He paused. Ask me when you are really ready to know okay? Then I will gladly tell you.

I was extremely lucky to have a brother like Jasper. He is completely understand and calm. The many years he spent on the vampire battlefront with Maria has given him a strength that even I didn't have. I was so greatful to Jasper. I did not deserve his kindness in any way, yet here he was, giving it tom. Just like Bella, so kind and selfless. The thought burst through my mind before I had any chance to contain it. I tensed every muscle in my body as the pain poured into every facet of me.

Jasper was right. I am in a bad state of mind at the moment. He felt my intense pain and sent waves of serenity over me. For that, too, I was greatful. I brought myself back to my feet and decided to attempt a conversation that would lead away from Bella and I. "So, how did you and Alice end up here?" I asked Jasper, suddenly actually curious. Alice stayed where she was, never making a sound.

"Well, actually, I was on my way back from Bella's..." Jasper started, then paused. So much for the conversation leading away from Bella. I thought to myself, then focused on Jasper's explanation. "I wasn't sure where I was going, but I ended up here." Jasper gestured to the small clearing we were occupying. "Alice caught my scent and followed it." He stopped again, and I could hear the pain behind his thoughts, but he held his composure proficiently as he spoke each word, "She told me everything almost immediately...I was actually surprised at how quickly she'd come clean."

He looked at Alice now, reaching out to touch her for the first time tonight. He placed his hand gently under her chin and forced her to make eye contact with him. "Alice," he spoke with a love that ran deep, and that I was sure of, "thank you for being honest with me." Her lip quivered and all she could do was nod. Without warning, he pulled her into a gentle embrace for a moment before pushing her away and running out of the clearing, leaving Alice and I alone.

Alice, stunned, reached out to Jasper, pleading for his return, but he was already out of sight. "Jasper," she sighed in a small voice. She sank to the ground, staring in the direction he had run. I felt an intense pity for Alice, even though she and Jasper were in a far better place then Bella and I. I didn't want to be alone with Alice, but I couldn't just leave her alone like this. I took a step towards her and she jumped, surprised, and turned quickly to stare at me. She acted like she had forgotten I was there.

She grew hysterical. "Where is he going, Edward?! Is he leaving?!" She nearly shouted the words at me. I could hear the insanity in her voice. "No, Alice. He isn't leaving. Calm down." I said in the most soothing voice I could, attempting to calm her down. I avoided her first question, although I knew exactly where he was going, and I didn't like it at all. I also didn't have a say in it anymore though. I could no longer tell him to stay away from Bella. She may find comfort in him being near her.

I hoped profusely that I was wrong about that, because I was selfish; I only wanted Bella to find comfort in me being near her. I would find out soon enough, because that is exactly where Jasper went; to Bella's house, and I had never been more nervous about anything in my entire existence.