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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.


5. Chapter 5

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1862   Review this Chapter

Chapter 5

The next day George and Olivia departed on their way back to Milwaukee, but not before George left Esme with an extra sum of money just in case. They exchanged hugs, final goodbyes and good lucks to each other before Olivia and George climbed into the coach and disappeared down the dirt path.

Esme did not return to the hotel, and instead set off in search of information. She wanted to first find the school house. It was Tuesday, so she assumed she'd be able to speak to the head master directly about the possibility of employment as a substitute. It wouldn't be a constant income, but at least it would be something to support herself until the baby was born and she could work full-time.

After receiving directions from a kind elderly man, Esme had located the school within the hour. It was a small building with a wide-set property in front and behind. Small children were playing under the supervision of a bearded young man as she passed.

Esme smiled down at the children's happy faces, her maternal instincts tugging at her heart strings. She brushed her fingers against her own baby affectionately, eager to watch her child run and play about so carefree and happy.

The head master of the school sat in his office at the front of the building, through a set of doors. He was a short man in his forties with brown eyes that seemed a bit too close together. On his nose sat a pair of spectacles and his nose seemed oddly shaped, as if it had been broken many years ago. He looked up at Esme with a frown on his face, pausing in the middle of reading some sort of document.

"May I help you, ma'am?" His articulate voice asked curiously.

Esme nodded. "My name is Esme Platt and I recently moved into town. I was wondering, sir, if you perhaps had any job openings? Perhaps as a substitute?"

He stared at the beautiful brunette in front of him with mild surprise. With a small jolt, he got to his feet and extended his hand, looking a little flustered.

"I'm Henry Dalaver, head master of Kinsden Elementary, Miss Platt. Please, have a seat."

Esme nodded and took a seat. "I apologize for my sudden arrival. I just arrived into town the day before. My husband- my husband's body was just recently returned from Germany." She did her best to wear a mask of faux tragedy and discomfort so as to make her story believable. In truth, it wasn't a complete lie. Charles HAD gone to war and come back.

Henry appeared startled and his eyes moved from her face to her pregnant belly. "You are a widower?"

Esme nodded, keeping a calm expression. "You see why I have come to you after the start of term."

Henry regarded her for another long moment, still looking surprised. Then he waved it away and instead asked, "What are your credentials?"

Having just gone through this months before, Esme produced her file of credentials, pleased that she had remembered to pack it with her and handed it to Henry Delaver. He read them over in silence as Esme looked around his orderly office with vague curiousity.

"You have taught before?" Esme nodded, her face darkening. "In my previous place of residence. My husband-" she paused, partly to prepare herself for the lie and partly for dramatic effect. "I was recently informed passed away in the war. I couldn't bear to stay..."

Henry coloured slightly, almost looking as if he was sorry he'd provoked her into talking about it again. He nodded and murmured in sympathy, his eyes admiring her beautiful face. He continued to read over her file and then closed it with a polite smile.

"Well, lucky for you I am in desperate need of a full-time teacher." He ran a hand through his thinning hair distractedly. "One of the teachers has fallen very ill as of late. Some days he feels just well enough to make it through a school day and others, not. I have been assigning substitutes to his classes, but I feel it in the interest of the children's education to provide stability."

He smiled at her. "I would be very relieved if you could resume his post, Miss Platt. You'll provide more stability for the children than we are currently offering."

Esme smiled back. "I would be very relieved if I had such luck," she admitted with a small laugh.

Henry seemed pleased and he reached out to shake her hand again. Henry then told her that she would start tomorrow morning. Esme thanked him whole-heartedly and went on her next search for a place to live.

Over the next few weeks, Esme found her life to follow a more natural pattern. She paid rent to a couple who had a spare room in their house which was approximately twenty-five minutes from the school and they allowed Esme her own bathroom.

She told her story to anyone who would listen and few pressed her for details. Anyone who asked her about her husband was more for the point of sympathizing with her. They'd ask how long she'd been married and then murmured their best wishes for Esme and her unborn baby.

Now that she had a place to live, income, and was far from her old life, Esme felt happier. She enjoyed teaching and the teaching staff who worked with her. It was nice to experience freedom and friendship, and while she did miss her family, she knew that soon she'd have her own family with her son or daughter. In the evenings, she felt the loneliest and would often read books aloud to her baby and dwelled on the hope that her child would bring to her.

Every night she thanked God for the blessing of the baby who kept her life and soul intact while she tried to escape her tyrant of a husband. She felt as if life was going back to the simpler times when she was a young woman, free of Charles and free of expectations. There was a point in her life when she was sixteen that she fantasized her father was pushing for a talented, handsome young doctor to marry her. Of course, any successful young gentleman who came through his front door he was trying to match up with his daughter.

It wasn't exactly a pleasant memory as it was the time that she fell climbing a tree and broke her femur. The doctor who had come was an extremely handsome blonde man with gentle, cool hands and a smile that made her forget the pain. Esme's friends had teased her for weeks about her schoolgirl crush on the impossibly handsome doctor. It was one of the few men that came to her house that Esme actually approved of.

Unfortunately, the man had shown no interest in her outside of the doctor-patient relationship and mentioned in passing he was being transferred elsewhere. For Esme, the doctor was the first and last man she'd shown interest in as Charles began to court her shortly afterward. At this point, however, he was a polite and friendly gentleman and while Esme didn't show him the same interest she felt for the doctor, she was not opposed to Charles either.

And yet still today, every so often she'd dream of the handsome blonde man who'd treated her kindly and with respect. It was hard to forget the man before Charles with his impossibly good looks and how he'd cared for her at the base of her favorite tree. It was too bad that he'd moved away...

As the winters months brought more snow and ice and the temperature dropped at a steady pace, Esme found she spent all her time either in her quarters of the house or at school. By Christmas, she was seven months pregnant and beginning to feel the strain of the final months of pregnancy. Still, having young minds to keep her spirits up took her mind off the back pain and some of the lower moods she found herself slipping into from time to time.

The couple she stayed with were Thomas and Maria and they had a young son named Frederic who was merely four. He loved to sit with Esme by the fireplace and listen to her read books or pepper her with questions about her baby. Frederic seemed to be excitedly awaiting the birth of the child as his own little brother or sister, which Esme and Maria both thought endearing.

On Christmas morning, Esme was woken by Frederic's shouts of excitement as he woke his parents early in the morning to open his gifts. Maria, a sweet woman with thick dark curls, apologized profusely for her son's excitement. Esme only smiled and laughed, admitting she was excited for a time when her own baby would wake her up early in the morning on Christmas day.

Frederic's bed clothes were askew and his hair a tangled mess of curls as he raced around the living room, peeking around the small pile of gifts under the tree with an excited grin on his little face. He beamed up at his parents and pleaded to open his gifts.

"Alright, son," Thomas finally allowed, once the adults were seated in front of a warming fire.

Esme smiled, hands folded over her large tummy and watched Frederic tear off the wrappings of his gifts. Once all of his toys were opened, Thomas had Frederic distribute the remaining gifts. Frederic skipped over to his parents, handing them each two boxes and then over to Esme with a box and a card.

Esme opened the card first at Frederic's excited request. Inside was a large picture he had drawn of Esme and his family beside their house with a rainbow and the sun in the sky. He beamed as he pointed out he had spelled everyone's names right and he had put in a bright red arrow that pointed to a circle drawn over Esme's stomach. Just beside that, he had scrawled BABY BROTHER in bright blue.

Feeling her eyes well with tears, she hugged the little boy. "Thank you very much!"

"Do you love it, Miss Esme?" He asked, practically bouncing up and down.

"I do. How about later we find a spot in my room to hang it?"

Frederic agreed excitedly and he and Esme watched his parents unwrap their gifts from each other and from Esme.

With the fire crackling and a small but pretty gold necklace from Thomas and Maria beside her and the picture from Frederic in her hands, Esme felt extremely at peace with her life. She hadn't even know these people for more than a couple of months and she already felt like she had a family who loved her.

Later, when she hung the picture up in the room, she whispered her thanks to whoever was watching over her that somewhere in the possible, the impossible had happened for her.

She'd gotten as close to the perfect life as she'd ever gotten before.