Jacob has always been willing to do anything for Bella. Now Bella is willing to let him do anything for her. Edward is a little more convincing, Jacob a little more usable, and Bella just a little more vindictive. “He left me! No, no, no! How could he do this? How could he leave me? No, no, he can’t leave me! He left me!” she sobbed. “He left me!” Bella choked, caught her breath. Raised her head, eyes glittering. HE LEFT ME.
1. Chapter 1
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I was dying. I was sure I was dying. Light shone green and electric through my eyelids. There were sounds all around me, birds, insects, whispers in the branches above me. There were smells in my nose, crushed grasses and damp soil. But I felt none of it. For the time being, I was numb, suffering death and already dead.
I lay crouched there for hours, my face pressed into the ground, convinced that if I could hold on tightly enough to myself that it wouldn’t have happened, it wouldn’t be true. It’s a simple enough thing, denial. If you don’t want it to have happened, you block it out. It won’t have happened, not really, not if you don’t truly believe.
I heard them when they began to call me. Heard my name yelled left and right, front and back, above and below, all of them wanting a part of me, but I couldn’t move. If I did, it would be over, I would lose, I would die, because it would be back.
As darkness fell the voices increased, but still I couldn’t respond. The sounds changed then, as the air cooled and the voices fell away, leaving me to myself. Heavy footfalls, something brushing by. Loud snuffling noises, sniffs and panting, circling me. Circling closer, closer, closer. It was death I knew, come to collect me at last, for in the mercy of the world, no being could be made to suffer in such a way. No being could be made to suffer it.
I spooked, startled by a human voice when I had been so sure some animal was stalking me. I slipped, crashed, sat bolt upright and allowed myself to crumbled.
“He left me!” I cried, my grip breaking. “How could he do this? How could he leave me? No, no, he can’t leave me! He can’t leave me! He left me!”
The tears coursed hot and stinging down my face, my stomach heaving as I sobbed. I sensed the owner of the voice approach, crouch in front of me and place his hands on my shoulders.
“Did he hurt you?” the voice asked.
“He left me,” I cried.
The hands on my shoulders tightened almost imperceptibly, and suddenly something froze in me. I choked, sputtered, caught my breath. “He left me,” I whispered in an even voice. And the new ice inside me crystallized. It hadn’t hurt as I thought it would, death. It was empty, echoing. It was clear, clean, sharp, and for some reason made things easier to see. I raised my head to face the one who’d found me.
“He left me,” I said again. The boy before leaned back, his eyes widening. He could hear the cold in the back of my throat. And I would communicate it to him. He, who lived when I had died, he who still suffered with the potential of what I, now dead, escaped.
“He left me. He left me, and he will know his folly.”