Bridging The Gap
The story of Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen is very well known. However, what about that of the heart and soul of the Cullen family?
The vague outline of Esme's human life, put forward by Stephanie Meyer, leaves a lot to the imagination.
What happens between each of these guidelines? What is the attraction between the eternally youthful pair, the glue that holds them together?
When Esme Platt jumped from the cliff in 1921, she thought she had nothing left to live for. As she goes through the fiery transformation, and comes out the other side she finds two men who will forever change her outlook on the life she lost.
When the worlds of the preternatural and humans collide what are the aftereffects? A continuing story of pain, love and learning to trust the world once again. Continues through the Pre-Twilight life of the Cullen "parents."
2. On My Own
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Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
I said goodbye to the house I had been held captive within just as fall turned to winter in 1920. There was a wintery chill entering the house through the small gaps in the wooden paneling as Charles left for work at about nine that morning. Little did he know upon returning there would be no dinner awaiting him and nobody on which he could take out his drunken rage.
I had been thinking of that day for about a month or so before it actually became a reality. I knew in my heart and head that it was the right decision and I always seemed destined to run but the thing was, when? I needed to build up the courage I needed to take the first step from the door. I knew that when I left I would leave no clues about my whereabouts behind and without these he would not be able to trouble me again. However, it seemed that Charles had left his mark, wherever I went he was and it was not the normal feelings of marriage. His once ominous footsteps faded as he walked over to the Ford Model T he had acquired a year earlier. The car chugged to life and retreated down the small driveway; the black paintjob being overwhelmed by the red and yellow of the remaining decomposing leaves upon the floor. My possessions were packed into a small leather bound suitcase and I was standing alone upon the train platform awaiting the first train out of hell before the clock hand had managed to strike ten.
I had only one location in mind as I boarded the train, and that was Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit my second cousin, Anne. It seemed that within the years married to Charles she was the only family and friend I had left walking the earth I trod upon. The train left the Columbus station, and I promised myself that it would be the last I ever saw of the town I had grown up in. I would not return, could not make myself return. The green train passed through many unknown places; those which I had wanted to explore years prior; new cities, states un-adventured and unfamiliar settings. The large buildings of Indianapolis, or the rolling hills further northwards- it was a different place to me and I marveled in the unexplored beauty; relishing my new life.
The sun started to set just as I was coming into Illinois, the larger, brighter sun set into the fresh expanse of Lake Michigan; I watched as just outside Chicago a smooth breeze brought white snowflakes past the train window and I fell asleep to the gentle thrum of the steam engine and the purity of the snow. It was the first night in a while that I fell asleep unharmed, dreamt happy dreams and awoke content. The whistle of wind was the first thing that hit my ears upon awakening as the train started to jerk to a stop at my destination.
I found the house with a relative ease that seemed weird to me, and I arrived on her doorstep to the quiet sound of her talking in the kitchen. There was no time like the present, so I tapped on the door watching her eyes shrink of confusion and then widen with joy. I had found my home. Anne reminded me so much of the person I had been and family I belonged in during my teenage years and I relished in the new life I had managed to achieve by moving a few hundred miles away. Well, being my life, everything had to crash down upon me once again. It all started with a letter, just like the last time.
Esme, how could you? Charles is coming for you to return you to us. He's been ever so worried...
Each accusation from my mother's cursive script cut at me like the sharp edges of some of her consonants. However, each was diminished by the three little words: Charles is coming. Fifteen small, insignificant letters ruined my life.
The next day I was on the steam train once again. My mother's voice faded behind me as I left Milwaukee but Charles' kept pace with me. I could remember his voice as he screamed abuse at me and I constantly worried over what he would do once he found Anne. The first time she saw my bare arms in a short sleeve dress was the first time that someone outside myself acknowledged he had a problem, Dear God, Esme. What has he done to you? So it came as no surprise that her first worry was about me when I left.
God, dear, do not worry about me. You should be worrying about yourself. He will kill you. She nearly fell to her knees with the weight of her request. Please Esme, just run. Run, change your name, and lie with everything you have got. And never, do you hear me? Never, look back.
I reached Ashland and started a life where I seemed to merely exist. I acquired a room in which I ate, slept and lived. My possessions were few and far between; existing merely of clothing, knitting, few worn books and a moderate sum of money that I had accumulated by being married to an Evenson. It may have not looked like much of a life to an outsider but to me it was heaven; I was happy.
I started to teach the few children who resided in the town under the alias Esme Anne Platt. I was living a new life under the name in which my old life ended. I adored watching the children smile, grow and learn and I was flooded with thoughts of my very own child being in the same position. It seemed that once one dream manages to come true you start to take all the others a little bit more seriously; you actually start to believe that more can be achieved.
Of course, I was plagued with worries; what woman or mother wasn't? The worries I had I could live with because I knew all would be explained in due course. Everything was an unknown at that point; the day ahead, the month ahead, the whole future as an entirety, but this time it was a treasured unknown not a nuisance.
When Christmas arrived I had just less than three months due to wait until my final, and most important, wish would come true. The snow hit two weeks prior to Christmas day landing in a perfect blank canvas across the cobbled streets, which would be ruined by happy children's many, scattered footprints. It was the first Christmas I had ever spent away from my family, in any sense of the word. It had never really been Christmas past that significant day in my teens where Father Christmas was no longer real. The snow would often flitter past the window as I curled by the fire and Charles drank whiskey heavily trying to warm himself up; but neither presents nor love was exchanged between the pair of us.
However, the best gift came from that little life inside me. I watched from my bedroom window as the tree was erected in the town square and the families ventured into the streets. I roamed in the snow for hours picking up bits for my new life and I saw all the snowmen being built with the children's soft callings of "Merry Christmas, Miss Platt." The best gift I could've been given were the dreams of the future.
The three months came and went in a blanket of sleet and rain that managed to dampen everything except the joyous mood that followed me like a much loved acquaintance since December. I started to pick out clothes, furnishing and names, so by the time I went into labor on that March day everything was already decided, except the future. They all seemed to be for a boy; I don't know whether it was some form of wishing or a mother's intuition. I purchased a pine bassinet with baby blue curtains, small mittens and a soft bodysuit. As for the names; a lot floated around in my mind but none ever stuck out completely. I ended up with Jonathon, my father was a John and he was always a large part of my life before I lost my maiden name. Jonathon Platt; a beautiful name, for a beautiful babe.
Once the day arrived it brought with it a sharp pain that I had hoped to never feel again. The oh so familiar tortured scream resonated through my stiffly clenched teeth and flew through the still air of my apartment like a growl; hanging there like the gong of a bell. I had told myself, rather convinced myself, that it would end up this way, the pain, but it would be a good type of pain. A pain that you learn to treasure as you go through it, as you know the end result will be worth it. However, I was taken aback by how much the first labor pain, and very much each after that, brought back the repressed memories that I had tried, and obviously failed, to hide in the course of the last few months.
Lucky for me the sound of my pain was heard around my apartment building and the midwife was present at my door; taking me quickly to the town's small but helpful hospital within a quarter hour. Inside the next hour I was sat on a hard bed; the contractions bringing a light sheen of perspiration that matted my already untamed hair. The florescence of the light overhead and the sharp tang of antiseptic were my only companions as the clock ticked slowly but surely towards the start of a new life.
The tears running from the corner of my eyes mixing with the perspiration lining my face was, I felt, a fitting way to see out the pregnancy as my muscles contracted without any conscious effort. The baby, my baby, was coming. The thing I had ran away for and would continue to run away for, the being that I had spent nine months protecting and the one who I would have gladly died for was being born and it took all I could to end the pregnancy in the right way. With him in my womb my life was once again becoming real, and I lived my life well; everything in the future I wasn't sure about but it seemed that if he was with me, my life would continue in its chosen path. As this thought entered my brain it was accompanied by a large rasping scream of pain and a soft wailing noise that made my heart break. Although I hadn't seen him yet I knew deep inside that it was the cry of my baby, my son. I lifted my unstable, quivering arms as much as they would go, battling the lethargy that covered me in a blanket. His warm skin touched my hand and all was silent as his small, green eyes opened onto a new world for him and me alike. The nostrils of his pale button nose flared, sensing the unknown. Then once again he began to cry, a wheezing noise coming in between his fast, panting breaths.
That's when everything slowed in speed. The nurses and doctors both turned their faces towards my baby and I; their nostrils flared also and a lick of fear and confusion graced their different colored eyes and brows. The midwife had taken Jonathon from my weak arms before I could comprehend his warmth and weight were missing and I was calling after him as she and the doctors walked away; a nurse making her way over to me.
"What's happening? What's wrong? Where's she taking him?" I muttered, the words turning into an incomprehensible blur as the midwife, who was carrying my whole life in her arms, traveled out of my line of vision.
"Don't worry, Miss Platt," she murmured with a practiced ease. "He's just a little premature; we're going to let him rest for a while." She smiled; her crooked teeth shining brightly through the dulling light coming from the small window. Her bright demeanor seemed out of place to me.
During the night it took all I had not to simply stride out of the bedroom to collect him from the infirmary he was stored in. All I had was the vision of him about a minute into life; and that which I saw through the window of the ward hours before night. I relived the perfection of him; the color of my own emerald eyes staring back at me; or the soft wisps of brown hair that lay atop his head. All the while I hoped for the dreams to take into the life where everything made sense, and everything was the right way up.
Upon awakening I believed it was, until realization kicked in, and I found myself once again in the hospital where I had fallen asleep in the earlier hours of morning. There was a soft tap on the door of my room and at first my gripping heart eased a little at the thought of the little light outside the wooden door. Upon opening I found I was sadly mistaken. An older aged doctor with short graying brown hair entered and sat down in the chair on my left hand side with a disturbing look in his eyes. I started with this look and sat up facing him; beseeching him to tell me the troubles that caused his appearance; especially in my presence.
I'm sorry Miss Platt; we did everything we possibly could. There is nothing more we can do for your son.
The words repeated in my head as I ripped my hand from his clammy pair and dropped to my knees at his feet. My life had long since been tied to this earth; once in the presence of Charles I was tied to him but I put all my belief in the vulnerable infant that had been taken from me. He and I were tied since the first time he kicked, all love that I had present in my body were thrown upon him, and in turn he tied me to the earth itself. Once upon a time I had no anchor and then at that moment when the doctor said those words it seemed that my anchor had once again disappeared leaving me floating, helpless in the deep waters of despair.
The doctors words, in his accent with a soft southern twang echoed through my head as I staggered out of the hospital, drunk on grief. They echoed through my head as I stumbled home; the sun just setting below the tree tops of the forest that lead to Lake Superior. Every word stung like that of pine needles in my bloody and dirty bare feet as I stumbled over fallen logs and muddy trails. They buzzed even now as I found my peace.
Two days; only two days; 48 hours, 2880 minutes was what it took to change my life from bliss to desolation.
March 13th; the day Jonathon was born and the day he died.
March 15th, today, the day I will join him.
There are times in our lives when we think it can't get any worse. There are points so low that you fear you'll never see the light of day again and you don't see the point in trying to resurface. There are times when you can't understand why you're still here and why there isn't any justice for the way things are. There are times when you search for answers and wonder where fate went wrong because surely no one is meant to suffer so much and still live to face another day.
The righteousness I have searched high and low for appeared five months ago. I was given the opportunity to flee the existence I had before and turn it into a sort of life I was proud, and loved, to lead. I was content that with the gift of my child maybe this omnipresent God that had remained hidden in the shadows of my personal Satan for too long; was once again finding me, or should I say I had found Him. I was given the gift of the present and a future; nothing could ever wipe away my past, but in all honesty I have never wanted to. The past is called the past for a reason, it made me stronger and made me the woman I am today, the woman I wanted my son to know. My future would have soon wiped out the past memories by building and supplying my brain with those which I could live with or purposely placed at highest rank within my mind.
However, sometimes this justice doesn't come for everyone. Sometimes people you want to love you, or just look like they care, never will. Sometimes, you just have to let it go and move forward. Sometimes there are no answers, sometimes you never know what's going to happen. Sometimes you just have to have faith and move forward anyway.
For me, faith was a lost cause. I stepped to the brink of death so my toes were over the edge of the cliff surface. The only fate I saw at the moment was the choppy surface of the blackening water below me and the opportunities that waited for me down below. This fate I saw now was forced from within; this time God had nothing to do with my actions. I saw my own God; I saw my own sun; I saw my future in the sinking sunset. And with the image of him branded in my eyes; his honey eyes staring at me from behind my lids; I stepped.
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy;
Seven years tho' wert lent to me, and I thee pay;
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I loose all father, now. For why
Will man lament the state he should envie?
To have soon scap'd worlds and fleshes rage,
And, if no other miserie, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and ask'd, say here doth lye
Ben. Johnson his best piece of poetrie.
For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.
On My First Sonne; Ben Johnson.