The Darkness Inside
Edward struggles with himself when Bella misses the life she once knew.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 803 Review this Chapter
November. Thanksgiving was only a week away. Bella sat on the floor of her bedroom with the box of holiday items that her father had stashed away for so many years, unable to face old memories of happier times. Her mother had collected these items when she and her father were still married. Bella remembered when she was young and she would help her mother decorate the house at Thanksgiving. She remembered the smells of pumpkin pie and cranberry-walnut dressing and cinnamon bread fresh from the oven. Bella pulled from the box a paper Tom Turkey, a silly grin on its too-human face, and tried to smooth the wrinkles from its construction paper wings. The turkey had always guarded the pies on Thanksgiving. Bella smiled remembering when she was five and she couldn't resist sticking her finger in the cool pumpkin pie to grab a taste, all the while glancing at Tom Turkey to see if he would tell. He never did.
She gathered more items from the box, sighing with each new remembrance. There were paper garlands of autumn leaves and little pilgrim sat and pepper shakers and candy dishes with ghosts and black cats for Halloween and then a few odds and ends for Christmas celebrations. How long had these things been hidden in the forgotten box in a dark place in the basement? How could those happy times of paper turkeys and shiny gold tree ornaments be as disposable as the items themselves? What happened to love, Bella wondered, when people could no longer share it?
Deep in thought and lost in her discoveries, Bella did not notice that someone else was watching. Edward had entered the 2nd story bedroom through her window - silently, swiftly and unannounced, as he often did. He stood in the far corner, pale and pensive, his gold eyes locked on Bella's profile. How beautiful she was to him. She had a tenderness and honesty that moved him deeply. She was utterly precious to him and he could not bear to see sorrow in her eyes.
As he watched her retrieve items from the box and listened to her quiet laughs and less-quiet sighs, he realized that she was experiencing some form of grief. He could smell the salt of tears on her cheeks. Her movements were slow and deliberate. As she placed each item on the floor before her, her lovely fingers seemed reluctant to let go of them. It was easy to figure out that these were decorations from her childhood, a time before her parents' divorce, a time when her life was more complete.
Edward knew the pain of remembering a life that would never again present itself to him. He too had a life once – enjoyed a life once – filled with family and friends and laughter and tears. He had holiday celebrations and sweet delicacies and played silly games and felt his mother's kiss on his cheek. He too had been alive once. He too had been human.
No longer. He was human no longer. He knew what he was; but he wasn't sure what he could be. He knew that his hunger, his insatiable hunger for blood, was something he would never fully embrace. He knew that he was capable of great rage and terrible longing. He knew that his skin glittered like stars in the sunlight, but he was really a being of shadows. He knew that the real darkness was inside.
What troubled him most now was wondering if Bella would be forced to share his darkness. She had problems of her own – real, human problems. She had to suffer the pain of choosing one parent or another to live with. She had to suffer the pain of not truly belonging to one place and one way of being. And now she would have to suffer the pain of being with someone who could never give her a normal, safe, happy human life. It is what she deserved. He knew this. The question was, did he deserve her? Would this darkness inside be a place in which this beautiful jewel could still shine?
Suddenly, Bella turned her head to him and caught her breath. He was there, her Edward. He always surprised her. She wondered how long he had been watching her. In that moment, when her eyes met his she forgot about the box of decorations. She forgot about her nostalgia and the pain of her once happy family being torn apart. She forgot everything in the beauty of his quiet strength and sadness. She loved him. It was all she needed. Bella smiled happily at Edward, her face glowed with love. And Edward drank it in and returned her smile. In the light of Bella's love, the darkness inside was gone.