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Farewell, Forks

Summary:
Please review or rate! The Cullens, Jacob, and Seth move to New Hampshire, where a new vampire comes into their life; but not before a devastating car accident alters Bella's family forever. EXCERPT: Edward sat back down on the bed next to me, and held the neatly-wrapped package out to his daughter. “This is from your mother and me; happy birthday,” he said gently. While her eyes were transfixed on the package, I shot him a silent thought. What is this? He just smiled and left me hanging. Renesmee slowly turned and walked towards the package, thrilled at the prospect of an unexpected treasure. She took the box and carefully untied the ribbon. When she lifted the top of the box, she revealed a stunning gem in the shape of a heart. It was identical to the one Edward gave me after graduation, but instead of a flawless and colorless diamond charm meant for a bracelet, it was a blood red ruby attached to a delicate, silver chain and meant to be worn around her neck.


Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. Bella's POV


9. The Unimaginable

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1737   Review this Chapter

Alice was down on the porch in a tenth of a second. “Bella, it’s your parents.”

Edward put his hands on my arms and I felt every inch of my body prickle, as if a thousand needles were simultaneously being plucked out of my skin. Edward inhaled when saw Alice’s vision in his mind, and I felt his hands tighten.

Esme and Carlisle appeared beside us, and saw the three of us locked in a state of shock. Esme reached out for us. “Alice, what is it?”

“An accident.… I don’t know if we can stop it, it’s happening any – “

I exploded out of my trance, and started searching Edward’s pockets frantically, looking for his phone. “Edward; where’s the phone?” I looked back at my sister, who was focused on her vision. “Alice, when? Where are they? Can we stop it if I call and get him to pull over?”

Edward pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Charlie’s number. My body wouldn’t let me be still anymore. I wanted to take the phone, but I was terrified to do it. I paced. I spun around to take the phone, but again, pulled my hands back, thinking Charlie would take Edward more seriously if Edward called him out of the blue and told him to pull over immediately. Charlie was used to not asking questions when it came to things he didn’t understand with my husband and our family.

As he waited for Charlie to answer, Alice’s face went slack. Horror replaced the concern in her eyes. I closed my eyes, grasping at my hair and any shred of hope when I heard the line pick up, and then felt that hope plummet when I heard Charlie’s familiar voicemail greeting. Edward snapped the phone shut.

I screamed at Edward. “He’s driving! He doesn’t like to talk when he’s driving, call Renee.”

Edward concentrated on what Alice was seeing. “Bella…. We should go to them, now.”

“No, we can stop them. If I can get them to pick up, I can stop them.”

Edward looked at me with so much love, so much worry and fear. “Bella….”

“No!” I yelled. I grabbed the phone and dialed Renee’s number, pacing quickly up and down the porch, waiting for her to pick up, waiting to hear her sunny voice say Hey sweetie, did I forget something again?

But it never came. After seven, torturously long rings, each spanning the length of a hundred years, her voicemail greeting picked up the call. I felt the world spin around me; I felt a rage and a fear I hadn’t experienced since our standoff with the Volturi three years before. A thousand images raced through my mind, each a flash, a picture of Charlie, of Renee, and Phil. I felt my insides collapse, my heart breaking; I felt Edward carrying me as he raced us into the garage.

Apparently, vampires could go into shock.

Alice drove Edward’s car while he cradled me in the back; Carlisle followed us in his car. I heard Alice say they were going to fly Charlie by helicopter to the hospital in Portland. Did this mean Renee and Phil were okay? I heard Edward call the rest of our family, to let them know where we were. Calls went back and forth between him and Carlisle. I caught something about the Forks police station calling Carlisle to let him know that Charlie’s cruiser was involved in an accident. Pictures continued to race through my head. All I could see was my parent’s faces. As we raced at speeds that once made me shudder, I only wished we could fly faster.

When we arrived at the hospital, Carlisle told us to wait in the car until he could get an update from the doctor on call in the Emergency room. Sitting there, the need to move started to overtake the fog that had claimed me during the ride to the hospital. Edward took my hand, and squeezed it. I thought he was trying to calm me down, but he could hear Carlisle’s thoughts.

“Charlie’s alive.”

I exhaled and felt a jolt of hope run through me. “What about my mom and Phil?” I demanded.

Alice never took her eyes off of the floor of the car, but I saw her close them in defeat. Edward swallowed hard and took a deep breath. He looked into my eyes. “I’m so sorry, Bella. They were both killed instantly in the collision.”

The echoes of my human past flared up, and I started to hyperventilate. I needed to run, to break, to smash, to kill. I needed to move. Edward grabbed me and held me tight. I collapsed into him, waiting for tears that couldn’t come. How could there be so much pain without tears? Minutes passed and it felt like an eternity. Alice was still as a statue, and Edward rocked me back and forth, humming my lullaby in my ear. Just as I was about to explode into a million tiny pieces, Carlisle opened the front passenger door and climbed in the car. I froze in stillness again. He looked at Edward, who gave him a nod.

When he looked at me, I lowered my gaze to the floor. I couldn’t bear the sadness in his face, knowing what it was for. “Bella, I’m so sorry.” He paused, giving me a moment.

I looked up at him and nodded, giving him permission to go on.

“You can go in and see Charlie now if you want, but he’s not conscious, and you are the only one they will let in. He has some swelling on his brain, so they’ve given him a medication that will keep him in a comatose state while the swelling to go down. I’ve arranged to have your dad transported by helicopter to Forks Hospital so he will be close to us and so I can monitor his condition. I’m going to ride with him in the helicopter. We leave in about fifteen minutes.”

I looked at him blankly. It took me a minute to realize he was waiting for some sort of response. I swallowed hard. “Yes, I want to see Charlie before you go.”

Carlisle nodded. “OK. Let’s go.”

I turned to Edward, shattered. “I’ll be right back.”

“I’ll be here,” he whispered.

On the way to see Charlie, Carlisle put his hand around my shoulder, and pulled me close. “Bella, we’re going to do everything we can for Charlie.”

I nodded. “Carlisle, where are Renee and Phil?”

“They were taken directly from the accident to the hospital in Forks. You can see them when we return.”

I nodded quickly and thought only of seeing Charlie. I couldn’t let myself imagine the lifeless bodies of my beautiful mother and her devoted husband.

When I saw him, it was as if the rest of the world went black. Oh, Charlie.

He was laying on a transportable gurney, with an IV hooked up to his arm, oxygen flowing into his nose, and a seemingly random assortment of wires monitoring his vitals. His face was swollen and bruised, his head was wrapped in gauze, and there were cuts on his arms, forehead and chin.

I suddenly understood what my mother must have felt when she came to Phoenix after James tried to kill me. Charlie looked so small, so helpless, and so very fragile. I sat there, finding it hard not to curl up into a ball and drift away. A nagging feeling began to overwhelm me, and then the long-absent hole in my chest flared forcefully and angrily.

I reached my hands towards Charlie and ran them over his skin. I felt the blood course through his veins. I inhaled his scent, a smell that was, for the first time since becoming a vampire, nothing but comforting to me. There was no need to ignore my instinctual thirst; there was no thirst to ignore. I remembered Edward telling me that after spending twenty four hours thinking I was dead, my blood ceased to be a source of discomfort for him. For the first time, I truly understood.

I stared at his face, traced the lines on his forehead. All of these years, I had caused Charlie so much worry for my safety, my well being, my happiness, my choices, my very life. Now it was my turn to worry. I leaned over and gently pressed my temple against his cheek. I pretended I was a little girl and he was holding me in his arms, his cheek pressed against the top of my head.

The walls, people, noises and smells of the hospital reappeared when Carlisle reached out to my shoulder and squeezed it. “Bella, the helicopter is ready. Edward will take you back to the car.”

I nodded, not taking my eyes off of my father. I kissed him on the cheek and whispered into his year. “I love you, Dad. Renesmee loves you. Edward loves you. Jacob loves you. Billy loves you. Sue loves you. We all need you, Charlie.” I kissed him again and took a step back.

Two men in scrubs wheeled Charlie away and Carlisle went with them. Over his shoulder, he called out, “Edward, you and Alice take Bella home. I’ll call when we’re ready for her at the hospital.”

Edward was standing a few feet away, silent and still. His eyes looked directly into mine; his face full of sadness. He could not protect me from this. He could not make Charlie live, and he could not bring back Renee and Phil. Just when I thought the hole would devour me, I was in his arms, and for the second time that day, he carried me to the car. As he did, he whispered that he loved me, over and over again.

The ride home was silent, and we drove straight to the house. As we got out of the car, Renesmee flew out of the house and into my arms; Jacob followed her out of the house and stood on the porch. Tears streamed down my sobbing daughter’s face. I looked up at Jacob, and he, too, was wet with grief. How I envied their tears. If only I could have brought my tears with me, maybe they would provide the catharsis and the expulsion that I so desperately needed at that moment.