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Changing Tides

Summary:
Changing Tides Banner Living a life of perpetual misery, Esme escapes from her abusive husband to find a life worth living. She has no idea that she'll find life in mortal death and love in the arms of an incredibly handsome doctor named Carlisle Cullen.


Notes:
This story was completed with the help of the biographies provided at http;//www.twilightlexicon.com to ensure that canon is followed Disclaimer: All characters, base plot, twilight series are the property of Stephenie Myers. I've been in love with the books for a while now, and out of sheer interest in the other couples, I decided to write this one on Esme and Carlisle. I do not own the canon characters nor do I take credit for any affiliation with the "TWILIGHT" series. Changing Tides banner created by JokesOnJane.


2. Chapter 2

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2134   Review this Chapter

Chapter 2

The weeks past and soon Charles was returning to his job at the bank, leaving Esme at home. This was of course, good news as solitude was better than being with her husband. She spent her time tidying up the house, visiting her parents, sewing, or writing to old friends. As long as she was distracted, the days didn't seem so terrible.

And then, at the end of July something terrible happened. After weeks of feeling ill, her doctor informed her that she was pregnant.

Charles, of course, for several days flew into a rage, demanding to know that it was indeed his child. He threw about all sorts of wild accusations about her infidelity while he'd been on the front lines. His rage disappeared when they visited both of their parents to deliver the good news. As far as the world could tell, he was thrilled for their baby and talked of spoiling their child and Esme who sat graciously at his side, the image of a content expecting-mother and happy wife.

It was the beginning of August and four months into her pregnancy that Esme decided she could no longer stand for Charles' abuse. She had begun to see things differently now that she was pregnant and now viewed the child growing inside her to be her only priority in life. Although she was depressed about her pregnancy with Charles, she knew that she loved this baby more than life itself, and that she couldn't possibly allow for her baby to be born here.

She made plans to escape, telling no one except for her second cousin Olivia, who lived in Milwaukee. Olivia and Esme had been close growing up, and Esme feared asking for help from anyone else. Olivia, outraged at the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Charles, readily agreed to help her. Olivia's husband George purchased Esme train tickets, and gave her instructions for her journey north.

The date for the escape was set for August 28th. Esme took extra care to ensure that her bag was packed and hidden in the front hall closet behind a storage bin. She had spent weeks stealing small sums of money from her husbands' safe and stashing it away. She had also planned to drug Charles to ensure she could get away safely. She was sure that if he caught her, he would beat her, it and Esme was sure her baby wouldn't survive it.

On the evening of the 28th, Charles was sitting in his arm chair as he always did after his supper. She sat in the sitting room with him, as she sometimes did. Usually she avoided being in his company as he would continually ask her to fetch things or say cruel things between glasses of brandy. Today, however, was the obvious exception and she needed to act quickly.

Esme sat silently sewing a baby blanket as she waited for Charles to demand for her to fetch him another glass of brandy. She had cleverly ensured that he would have to get her to open a new bottle as she had poured most of it down the drain earlier. Charles wouldn't notice the missing amount; he went through many bottless a week. Esme was already anxious; it was already 7:30 and her train ticket was for 8:45pm.

Thankfully, minutes later, Charles poured the last of his brandy into the cup and drained it in a quick swig. He banged the empty bottle on the side table and turned to her, his blue eyes glassy with intoxication.

"Make yourself useful," he said, brandishing his empty glass with his hand, his tone short. Esme obeyed, hoping she didn't seem eager as her heart pounded wildly in her chest as she mentally prepared herself.

She paced herself as she walked over to the liqueur cabinet and lifted out the drugged bottle of brandy with quivering fingers. She'd put in some crushed up sleeping pills earlier to ensure that he would pass out quickly. She uncorked the bottle and poured half a glass for Charles. She jammed the cork back on the bottle and forced herself to exhale as she turned to return him his glass.

What if it wasn't enough? What if he knew she had attempted to drug him? Her stomach was twisted into knots as she handed him the glass. He didn't look at her as he took it and set it down. Esme returned to her sewing, feeling sick to her stomach. 'Drink it!' She wanted to scream.

Minutes ticked by on the small clock on the mantle but Esme kept her eyes glued to the blanket. Finally, she noticed Charles going for the glass out of the corner of her eye. He raised it to his lips and drank. Esme realized she was holding her breath as he swallowed and set the glass back down beside him. It was done.

Esme meticulously continued to sew, her hands shaking as it tugged the thread insistently in and out of the material. She looked back up at the clock for a second and then continued to sew, praying that the pills would work. It happened within minutes. His eyes fluttered and then he fell backwards against his chair, in a deep sleep. Esme waited for another minute or so before approaching her husband on shaking legs.

She tapped him, called his name and when he didn't respond, she turned on her heel and ran. She grabbed the bucket of water by the fireplace and doused the flames so the house wouldn't go up in flames while he slept. Esme then rushed to the front hall where she pulled on her coat, snatched her bag from the closet, and then ran into the chilly night, slamming the door behind her.

Her breathing and the sound of her shoes on the gravel were the only noises she heard as she rushed out to the stables. She quickly began to prepare the horse, attaching her bag to the saddle and then hoisting herself up, she urged her horse forward and out into the night.

The cool breeze felt wonderful on her face, drying the cold sweat that had begun to form on her forehead in her anxiety. She refused to look back at the little house and the life she was leaving behind. Digging her heels into the horse, she urged it faster to the train station.

It was like a bubble of hope was expanding in her chest as she rode into town. She and her baby were free of her tyrant of a husband. She just hoped she could get far away from him for long enough so that Charles would give up. She wasn't a fool to think he wouldn't try to find her.

The train station was about a twenty minute ride into town. There was still several people around town at this time, so she kept her head low. She approached a young boy who was clearly poor and tapped him on the shoulder.

He whipped around, startled and peered up at Esme with nervous brown eyes.

"I will pay you for the trouble of returning my horse, young man" She said sweetly, bending to his level.

The boy, dirty, in ragged clothes, and no older than eight or nine, looked up at her and nodded. "Sure, miss," he replied politely with an eager expression.

Esme smiled at him and dug into her purse to retrieve a fair sum to give to the boy. She pressed it into his hand, gave the boy her address and just told him to tie the animal up in the stable. The boy nodded and departed immediately after mounting the horse with a little help from Esme.

Satisfied that the horse would be returned to Charles, she continued onto the station. An elderly gentleman held the door for her and she thanked him, keeping her eyes lowered. She did not want any associates of her husband to recognize her while she made her escape. She checked the train schedule and then sat with her bag in a chair at the far end of the room. She placed a hand on the slight baby bump that had begun to develop and sighed.

Don't worry, baby, she thought sadly. I'll get us there safely. Glancing at her pocket watch, she was pleased to realize she would only have to wait another ten minutes at the station before boarding. The station was crowded and she felt that the less amount of time she spent in this god forsaken town the better.

Charles would probably only be unconscious for an hour or two, and so it was critical that she had departed by then. She thanked God that her train was running on time. Looking around the station, she didn't recognize anyone and she felt another wave of hope wash over her.

Good, she thought thankfully. Luck hadn't been in her favour since she'd met Charles. It was strange to think that she was finally allowed such a thing. The baby she carried, which had at first seemed like another curse to her name, had given her the ability to leave.

It wasn't long before Esme was sitting in the window seat of the train, watching the station disappear behind her. She relaxed in her seat, so happy that she felt she could cry. Charles would no longer lay another hand on her ever again. She was free to live her life and make her own decisions. She would no longer have to live in fear or worry that Charles might lose his temper and hit her. Most importantly to her, her baby could grow up safely.

As the train picked up its speed, clattering along the wood tracks as it pulled away from town, Esme pulled out a small notepad and a pen, figuring she would owe her parents at least an explanation. She felt terrible for leaving like this, without a word to her friends and family, but it was necessary. If Charles found her, she shuddered to think of what he would do. Furthermore, the fewer people that were involved the better.

Dear Mother and Father,

I am very sorry for all of this, but I cannot bear to live in a place where I fear for myself every day. I have tried to explain to you on numerous occasions that Charles is not the man he appears to be, and I can no longer obey your wishes to take it in stride.

I have left in hopes of living a better life than the one I have left behind. I intend to raise the baby away from Charles so that he or she has the chance to grow up in a loving home.

I love you both and I hope you can forgive me one day.

All my love,

Esme

She sighed and read and re-read her short note, deciding it would have to do. She couldn't give them any more information than this. Perhaps in a few months time, she would send another letter, just so that they knew she was alright.

Two men in their business suits paused by her seat, eyeing her curiously and smiling. Esme supposed this did look odd. The war had just ended and security measures were quickly disappearing, but to see an unescorted lady in the evening travelling by herself must seem strange, if not dangerous.

Esme kept her eyes glued to the letter until they passed. She then folded it up carefully and stored it in her bag until she could mail it away.

Her eyes ached in exhaustion but she didn't dare sleep yet. In two hours, the train would reach Indianapolis where George had paid for a coach and a hotel room. She wouldn't reach Milwaukee for another few days.

Staring out of the train's window, Esme began to imagine that her life hadn't turned out to be so complicated. She was ecstatic about being a mother and starting a family, but she had known since her father encouraged her to marry Charles that he wasn't hers. She deeply believed in the stories she heard from some of her friends who had claimed to have met the perfect man, the man of their dreams. Esme had never been able to tell such stories.

She had doubted it many times over the past few years. Charles was far from the man of her dreams, but not far from the average husband: selected by her parents and from a wealthy and good family.

Surely she deserved happiness too? Surely that this wasn't the end of her story?

Esme closed her eyes to rest them and shut out the world. She'd lived for too long with Charles to not doubt that she deserved it.