Follow Your Heart
When Edward left Bella in New Moon she followed after him for a while, before getting lost, falling, and being found by Sam some time later... What if she had to follow him, if she felt a pull that would lead her away from the misery, and to a new life?
I have been in somewhat of a writter's block for a while, but while re-reading New Moon the muse struck, so I had to write, and this just flew out on to the page/screen. Chapter 1 took about 2 hours to write, and I had to get it up there for others to see as soon as possible. With luck and a well behaved muse, this will continue on for a few more chapters.
1. Chapter 1
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He was gone.
With shaky legs, ignoring the fact my action was useless, I followed him into the forest. The evidence of his path had disappeared instantly. There were no footprints, the leaves were still again, but I walked forward without thinking, I could not do anything else. I had to keep moving. If I stopped looking for him, it was over.
Love, life, meaning... over.
I walked and walked. Time made no sense as I pushed slowly though the thick undergrowth. It was hours passing, but also only seconds. Maybe it felt like time had frozen because the forest looked the same no matter how far I went. I started to worry that I was traveling in a circle, a very small circle at that, but I kept going. I stumbled often, and, as it grew darker and darker, I fell often, too.
But I kept getting up, it didn't matter. The stumbles, the falls, scratches on my hands and knees, none of it mattered, I just had to keep going. I had to find him. I'd seen it in his eyes, for only a moment, but it was there, behind the mask. He still wanted me, always. I kept his eyes in my mind, leading me through the dark, the cold. Only vaguely aware of where I was, and where I was heading, I trudged on.
As I passed over the hills I didn't look back at Forks, though something in the back of my mind suggested that I should. I could go back, my truck would be quicker. But I didn't, couldn't, stop. Not even for that, I had to keep going.
The forest seemed to be lightening, I noticed, whether the trees were thinner here, or it was morning, I couldn't really tell. I vaguely remembered crossing some roads - the highway? - I had no idea where I was, where I'd been, where I was going - not really - the direction was pulling me though, where he'd gone. Like some invisible thread was gradually pulling me in. As the day brightened I fell less, but still stumbled just as much, I could feel the tiredness in me, but kept going.
By the time night fell again I was miles away - in both senses - I could only see his eyes, that look, behind the mask. I had to see him again, there simply was no other option.
Finally, I tripped over something - in the black of the strange woods, I had no idea what caught my foot - and I stayed down, I rolled onto my side, so that I could breathe, and curled up on the wet bracken.
As I lay there, surrounded by his eyes, I had a feeling more time was passing than I realized. I couldn't remember how long it had been since he stood before me, a day? two? It was night now though, and so very dark. Surely, as a rule, some little bit of moonlight would filter down through the clouds, through the chinks in the canopy of trees, and find the ground.
Not tonight. Tonight the sky was utterly black, Perhaps there was no moon tonight - a lunar eclipse, a new moon.
I could still see his eyes in the black as I lay there - I barely even heard them calling.
Charlie was beside himself, I'd never seen - or imagined - him like this. He paced about the small room in the hospital, shifting from worried to angry and back again. Every now and then he'd mutter something, I couldn't hear what, so I just watched silently as thoughts of topaz eyes ran through my head.
They'd said I could go home soon, we were just waiting for the doctor to make it official. I slumped further as the doctor walked in, I realized I'd been hoping, somewhere in the back of my mind, that it'd be Carlisle that came. But it wasn't, he was gone, they all were.
The ride home in Charlie's cruiser was quiet, and tense. He'd asked me what I'd been thinking, what I was doing, but I hadn't answered, hadn't spoken since they'd found me. I didn't dare for fear that if I stopped concentrating for even a moment I'd lose him, his memory. Edward's eyes haunted me, and soothed me, I couldn't loose them.
Charlie helped me to my room, I was stiff, and cold still, making me clumsier than usual. I curled up on my bed, and he pulled the covers over me. He stroked my hair just once, lightly, before walking away. I think he may have stopped at the door to look back at me, but I'm not sure. My blankets smelled faintly of Edward, and I curled into them, enveloping myself in his scent. Alone, in the dark, with his scent around me, it wasn't hard to imagine he was there, lying with me again. I soon drifted off into a restless sleep.
The next few days drifted by in the background, I'd promised to look after myself, at least for Charlie's sake, so I tried. But my mind wasn't in it, my heart was gone, I didn't know where he'd taken it, but there was just an aching hole where once it had been.
Monday morning Charlie drove me to school, he didn't think I should drive, I agreed, mostly to avoid any problems or discussions. I didn't really care. My eyes were drawn to the empty spots in the car park, though I tried not to look, I wanted to think they were just off hunting, they'd be back tomorrow. The ache in my centre throbbed though, reminding me of the truth.
I barely noticed classes passing by, Jessica had tried talking to me, but I barely registered it, Angela at least had seen I needed space, or something, and had distracted her. She gave me a small sad smile, I'm not sure if I returned it though. So at lunch I sat at their table, our table, alone. I toyed with an apple and a bottle of water, but didn't really eat anything. At least Angela and Jessica kept the boys away.
The days passed, blended together, I stumbled through them, just doing, without thinking. At night I'd crawl into bed, his scent was fading, but I could still see his eyes when I closed mine. I kept dreaming that same moment, when he'd left, and would wake with a scream through the night, eventually Charlie stopped checking on me, it became routine, just part of the remains of the life I was in.
It couldn't last though, one day Charlie came in my room and handed me the phone. "This can't go on Bella, you should go home, call Renee."
"What?!" I jumped up, probably the most active I'd been in weeks. It startled Charlie. "I am home." I insisted quietly, confused, was he trying to get rid of me?
Charlie sighed, but pressed on, "You need to get away, move on." He raised a hand to silence my reply, "I can't bare to see you go on like this, just... moping around all the time!"
"I'm not moping around." I frowned, I kind of was.
He grudgingly conceded though, "Wrong word. Moping would be better. You're just... lifeless, Bella. You're just going through the days, like you don't even notice them."
This accusation struck home. I sighed and tried to put some animation into my response.
"I'm sorry, Dad." It sounded flat, even to me. I thought I'd been fooling him. I slumped a little but tried not to show it, I'd wanted to keep him from suffering.
"I don't want you to apologize."
I sighed. "Then tell me what you want me to do."
"Bella," he hesitated, scrutinizing my reaction to his next words. "Honey, you're not the first person to go through this kind of thing, you know."
"I know that." I grimaced limply.
"Listen, honey. I think that - that maybe you need some help."
He paused for a moment, gathering his words. "I waited, hoping things would get better." He looked right at me, and I had to look away. "I think we both know it's not getting better."
"I'm fine." I mumbled, though it sounded weak.
He ignored me. "Maybe, well, maybe if you talked to someone, a professional, about it?"
I gasped and stuttered a bit, trying to get the myriad of thoughts out. "Look," I said eventually a bit flustered. "I think, I'll just..." I trailed off and thought for a moment. "I'll start driving myself to school again, and go out with Angela or something, maybe if I'm around friends more..." I trailed off again, the idea didn't sound all that interesting, but if it made him happier, maybe I could. He seemed to like the sound of it though.
"Alright," he agreed nodding faintly, "Just keep it mind, ok?"
"I will Dad." I gave him a quick hug, and dashed off to the bathroom before he could say anything else.
I sat in my truck for a few minutes on Monday morning, Charlie was still home. He said he had a late shift, but I felt like he just wanted to be sure I went to school.
The roar of the engine made me jump a little, but it was also soothing, simple. I pulled out on the road, and headed toward school, the green of the woods called to me as I drove. The silent reminder of that last day, last night, that I'd seen him. A sob caught in the back of my throat at the memory, and I saw the school, and the car park looked - felt - just as empty as it had the past few weeks. I faltered, I felt that pull again, from weeks ago, when I'd followed after Edward. Only now I had my truck, as I thought I should have then, I could do this. I wouldn't get stuck in the woods again. I'd find him.
I drove past the school, didn't even look, I still wasn't sure where I was going, but just followed the pull. Out through Port Angeles, I headed north, stopping for gas when I had to, but otherwise just driving. As I got further from Forks, the thread just seemed to pull me harder. I followed it blindly, compulsively, not seeing anything beyond the path it lead me on.
Without knowing where I was going, the border was a bit of a shock, pulling me out of myself, out of the thoughts of Edward. I found I had my passport, along with the sock full of money I'd been using for gas. I didn't remember packing either, but I must have known I'd need them, at some level.
It was dark and cold as I drove through Canada, my trucks ancient heater struggled along, barely warming me. The cold was comforting though, reminding me, soothing me. Brief thoughts of calling Charlie crossed my mind as I passed through little towns. The gas station didn't have a working phone though, so I shrugged it off. He'd be worried, but I'd get in touch when I got where I was going - where ever that was.
Only one thing stayed on the front of my mind, Edward. I could see his beautiful golden eyes again through the night, guiding me, watching me. The cool air bringing his breathe to me. I followed the pull.
Early morning brought me back to the US, as I sped through the dark snowy world of Alaska. I thought I knew where I was heading now, just faintly, the itch of forming awareness at the back of my mind.
I pulled off the highway in Fairbanks, something had changed, I couldn't feel the pull so much here, it was different. I went looking for a gas station, surely something was open. The glowing red and blue sign caught my attention, so I pulled in. I warmed my hands on the heater for a moment, before switching off the engine and pulling my coat tighter around me.
As I reached for the handle the door suddenly flew open, and I froze.
"Bella, what the hell are you doing here?!" The bell like voice asked, as if she hadn't known I'd be here. I couldn't help myself, I pounced the dark haired pixie in front of me, hugging her as tight as I could.
"Alice!" I sobbed. "Don't do that again, don't leave."
It was only a moment later that I felt her fine cold arms returning the hug, "I won't, I promise." She whispered.