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.
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Isabella stand a little bit taller.
I don't deserve your tears,
Anymore than you deserve the fears
That I have left you with, dear.
May I bless your every last tear?
"She's just a little girl,
She knows nothing of this little game
We like to play."
So tell the martyrs to wait at the gate.
This is an actual case of the truth.
At least, that's what they call it these days.
So tell your brothers and sisters to wait,
'Cause love is nothing to waste,
And I swore,
Never your heart, shall I break.
-Sugar Skulls by Envy On TheCoast
Things were exceptionally quiet after Jasper left. My family was home - with the one exception - but no one said or did much; especially Alice and I. She sat outside grimacing at the grey clouds in the overcast sky. "Well, there is school tomorrow." She murmured to me as I walked out on to the porch. Alice was still my best friend, and this distance growing between us now was really very unwelcome in my opinion. I knew she was wary of being alone with me - not because we would lose our self-control again, but rather for Jasper's assurance - and that was why she'd been keeping her distance, but I still didn't condone it.
I wanted us to be close; I wanted everything to go back to the way it was. I couldn't stand all of the angst. Sighing heavily, I took a seat next to her. "Hi." She offered, in a small voice. "Hi." I breathed. We sat there in silence for quite a while. To my surprise, her mind was mostly completely blank. All I really got was short sporadic bursts of worry and occasionally pain. She already knew without a doubt that Jasper was coming back to her, it was just a matter of time, but she still worried about him, and it still hurt her to be away from him for so long.
At least she knew Jasper was coming back to her. I had no way of truly knowing if Bella would take me back. I felt as if the world was closing in around me. I began to gasp for air. Hyperventilating! I screamed inside. Alice glanced at me, worry plain on her face. Edward, are you all right? She asked. I looked at her, clutching at my chest. "I need to get out of here!" I quickly said, jumping up. I began to run towards the protection of the trees when Alice called out to me with her thoughts. Where are you going? She sounded worried.
"I don't know!" I shouted, still running, "Be back soon." I had to leave her with that promise. She might get Esme and Carlisle involved if she didn't think I'd come back. I lengthened my strides and pumped my legs harder. I wasn't sure where I was going, but I needed to get away from everything. I needed to think. I desperately needed the peace of my own thoughts. Sure, the house was quiet, but that didn't include everyone's thoughts as well.
I still heard every thought of concern or disapproval, betrayal or hurt, anger or worry that came to anyone's mind. I couldn't take any more of it, so I ran. And I continued to run, letting my feet take me wherever, while I was completely lost in the serenity of the quiet. When I did come to a stop, I was amazed to see where my feet had taken me. Yet, at the same time, I cursed my feet for bringing me here. Pain came crashing down on me like a million boulders landing on me all at the same time as I stepped into the meadow - our meadow - and memories of Bella flooded into my mind.
I knew Bella loved me, more then anything or anyone, but I couldn't help but wonder why she loved me. Why had she chosen me? She should have run away from me screaming, but instead she'd devoted herself to me completely. Now she is hurting. That brought forth another question I often pondered on. Why had I imposed on her life so selfishly? Why hadn't I just stayed away from her? If I had just left her be, she wouldn't be hurting by my own accord right now.
I absolutely loathed myself for hurting Bella. She must really hate me now! I will lose her forever for sure, never to be graced with her love, or showered upon with her warm kisses ever again. I began to feel the weight of the world crashing down on me again, and my breathing once more became gasps as I struggled to grasp reality. I felt like I was suffocating. Drowning into an abyss in which I'd never resurface. I'd be forever lost in darkness.
You deserve darkness, Edward. I repeated this to myself multiple times, but I knew what I really wanted, and my selfish side was going to get the best of me this time. Walking to the center of the enchanting meadow, I sat down exactly where Bella and I had sat the first time I'd brought her here, and began to plot. I needed to get Bella to talk to me. Even getting her to look at me might be enough to settle my craving for a moment.
I looked up into the menacingly grey clouds that only promised one thing: rain. I welcomed the rain delightfully; the grey rain clouds ensured that there would be school for me tomorrow, and that ensured me that Bella would be within my reach almost all day long. Bella and I had almost every class together. I had pulled some strings to arrange our schedules that way - it took a few favors, but I'd succeeded - and I couldn't have been happier sitting next to her through nearly all of my classes every day.
I caught myself smiling at the thought of getting to see Bella.. Then a horrible thought crept up in my mind and my smile faded immediately. What if she doesn't even acknowledge my presence beside her? What if she just completely ignores me? I was instantly worried, and lost my grasp again. I was so afraid. That would be excruciatingly painful to sit through. I wasn't even sure I could sit through that kind of punishment.
Immensely worried now, I sprang up from my spot on the ground and began to run again. Only this time, I knew exactly where I was going. I know Jasper had recommended otherwise, and even still, I knew he'd said he would ask Bella for her approval of me coming to see her, but I just wasn't strong enough to wait. I needed to see Bella, and I needed to see her now! I won't even talk to her, or make her aware of my presence there. I will just watch her for a minute.
Even as I thought it, I truly didn't believe that I would only stay for a minute. Bella had consumed every aspect of my life since I'd met her, and that wasn't ever going to change. I will just watch from a distance... I told myself, knowing even that may be difficult to accomplish.
I reached Bella's house in under five minutes, and held my breath as I stood just inside the trees next to her house. I needed to gain control over my emotions so that Jasper wouldn't suspect I was there. The sun had already gone down so I could relax that much more - not being seen - while I sat patiently in the forest, eavesdropping on Jasper and Bella. Just hearing the sound of her heartbeat again made me grin. To hear her voice would be a gift I was unworthy of, but desired more then almost anything else. If I could hear her sweet melody, I'd be truly blessed.
Jasper was trying - hard - to make conversation with Bella, but she was mostly unresponsive, only nodding every now and then to what Jasper was saying. I watched her through Jasper's eyes. She looked so sad, but I could see how hard she was trying to hold her composure - probably for Jasper's sake. I moved from my place in the forest, closer to the window that belonged to the room in which they were occupying. If Jasper knew I was there, he'd given absolutely no sign of it. Not even in his thoughts. I must be lucky tonight. I stopped where I was and didn't dare get any closer. I had to at least stay hidden. No point in pressing my luck. I chided.
I watched and listened closely to Jasper's thoughts and his and Bella's conversation. It was perfectly harmless for a moment, then Jasper decided it was time to talk to Bella about what happened. At first she was reluctant, but then she realized that Jasper really needed to talk about it, and I knew that Bella was the only person he could talk to about that. She was smart enough to figure all of that out, and she couldn't even hear his thoughts.
My body became extremely tense as I heard each of them say their part. They talked about how they felt about the situation - well mostly Jasper talked, and Bella payed close attention. I already knew how Jasper felt, but I was desperate to find out how Bella felt. However, before she got a chance to express her feelings, I was staring through her window at her and Jasper at a sight I never thought I'd witness.
First, as Jasper confided in Bella his true feelings about it all, I heard his emotions in his thoughts start to build up frighteningly, then tear into shreds. He was under a lot of pressure. Letting everything out was a good thing for him, but he'd held everything in for so long, carried so much so far, that he was overwhelmed and when he finally did let it all out, Bella shouldn't have been the person to carry the burden of its weight.
To both mine and Bella's complete and utter astonishment, Jasper began to sob, quietly at first. In all of my time with Jasper, I'd never seen him break down this way. Alice hasn't even seen this side of him. Bella was completely shocked as she sat there, across from Jasper, watching this man confess himself to her and break right there in front of her. For a minute she appeared to be confused, unsure of what exactly she should do.
Finally, a determined look spread across her face, and I immediately knew it was her goal to comfort Jasper and do everything that was in her power to make him feel even the smallest bit better. That was when I witnessed - for the second time tonight - something else I'd never thought I'd see. As Jasper held his head in his hands sobbing quietly, Bella stood up slowly, and closed the distance between them.
He jumped and looked up at her. He hadn't expected her to try and comfort him. Whatever Bella saw on his face made her gasp loudly. Her lip quivered and sorrow filled her eyes. She reached out to Jasper quickly and pulled him into her arms, holding him tightly against her. He was tense for just a few seconds, then immediately relaxed and wrapped his arms around her too, now giving in to his pain.
He cried in her hair; louder now then before. She supported most of his weight for quite some time and never once seemed to mind. She was so strong; so caring. I am so in love with you, Bella. I thought as I watched Bella comfort a vampire. A vampire! I couldn't help but be a little angry at Bella. She never realized the danger she was in, especially when it came to someone elses well being. And now with Jasper, I couldn't believe the events taking place before my eyes.
Bella has always been so compassionate, I just never believed that her and Jasper would get this close, or for that matter, that Jasper would ever blow his composure. I watched in amazement as I saw Bella stand there whispering sincere words to Jasper to calm him; comfort him. Each word she said to him had actually helped him significantly. They stood that way - Bella supporting Jasper's weight, and emotions - for nearly forty-five minutes, and the whole time, Jasper cried in her arms.
Bella had only allowed herself to shed a single tear, and I knew she'd beat herself up over that one tear later. If I knew Bella - which I did - she felt she had to be strong for Jasper right now. I felt a great sense of pride wash through me. Bella was the most amazing person that I would ever know.
Finally Jasper was calm enough to think coherently and Bella sensed the difference right away. She pulled back and looked up into his eyes. she furrowed her eyebrows and just nodded at him. He took her nod for what it was and smiled weakly at her. I knew she nodded at him because she knew he would be all right. He sat back down on the couch and instead of taking her original place on the chair, she sat next to him, folding her legs up and grabbing one of his hands in both of hers.
He looked at her in awe, then looked away suddenly, ashamed by his outburst. "I'm so sorry about that, Bella, I-" He started, turning back to face her. She put a hand up to stop him - keeping her other hand on his - and shook her head. "Please don't." She plead, "We are both in this together, Jasper." She paused. "I'm always here for you." She finished, placing her hand back on his.
He looked down at her hands on his. A small smile played around one corner of his mouth. She's so warm. He thought. I stifled a growl. I knew better. Those aren't his intentions, Edward. I chastised myself. Jasper hadn't felt the warmth of a human in so long. I knew he was only admiring it; enjoying the sensation. He looked back up at her, the smile on his face becoming more prominent. "I guess it was my turn, huh?" He said playfully, referring to the night before when she was crying in his arms.
Bella returned the smile and let out a small laugh. She was working in over drive to make sure Jasper was comfortable. I couldn't help but to see the irony in it. Bella was trying so hard to mask her emotions and be strong for him, yet all the while, he can feel every emotion passing through her no matter how hard she tried to hide them. I knew how much he appreciated her efforts though. His thoughts were exploding with appreciation and awe. She's so strong, and selfless. I heard him admire her. Edward picked a great girl. I scoffed. I didn't pick her. She had me from the beginning. Bella had picked me. I was extremely lucky.
They both settled down enough to have a friendly conversation. Bella had taken her hands off of his, but remained next to him and talked to him, or listened to what he was saying, as they sat there enjoying and appreciating each others company. Eventually it got late and I watched Bella yawn. "You have school tomorrow..." Jasper reminded her, his voice trailing off. He didn't want her to think he was telling her what to do.
She smiled politely and nodded, getting up from the couch. They spoke a few last words to each other before she turned and walked out of the room, making her way up the stairs to her bedroom. I waited long enough to give her some privacy, then climbed the tree in front of her window, and peered inside; her window was open. She was already in bed; the lights were out. I suppressed the urge to climb through her window so that I could hold her in my arms all night long.
I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to suppress my urge - my need - but for now I just say in the tree watching Bella and all of her beauty - even in sleep she was the most beautiful angel. I heard her sigh and mumble something. This time I had no will to stay outside. My heart took over, and I climbed through her window and into her bedroom.
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