The Twilight Saga

It has been 20 years since Edward left. Bella never stopped loving him.
This story is now complete. Hope you enjoy it.

After All These Years

Setting: 20 years after Edward leaves in New Moon.

Chapter 1

Unlike some people, I loved washing dishes. It was the time that I allowed my mind to wander freely; the time where I replayed the day in my head; the time when I allowed memories to wash over me. Maybe it was the warm water. Maybe it was the feeling of washing everything away. Maybe it was that the window over the sink faced the forest and brought Edward back to my mind each day.

I didn’t push Edward from my mind anymore. The first year after he left, I couldn’t even think of him without clutching myself in physical pain. I couldn’t bear to say his name…couldn’t bear to hear it. But that had changed over the years. I welcomed the memories now. For me, there would never be another love. I knew I had found my one true love as a young woman. I knew Edward was the only piece that could complete me. Twenty years later, I still loved him.

Tonight, Edward was so clear in my mind. Jacob and his family had surprised me with a birthday cake. It was the first birthday since Charlie had died and they didn’t want me to be alone. I preferred to skip over birthday celebrations. Like most women, the thought of getting older was offensive, but for me birthdays also signified the end. The end of Edward and me-----the memory of my eighteenth birthday party at the Cullen’s was one of my blackest memories.

Jake and I remained best friends all these years. He imprinted on Anna when he was nineteen and they were married shortly after. Life had changed for Jacob after the Cullens left Forks. He no longer shape shifted. There was no need. Once in a great while, he would tell me that he smelled a sweet smell in the air, warning me to be careful. I think he thought it would scare me. It never did. I only hoped that meant that an old friend was passing by, or more importantly, Edward was near.

As I washed and dried the last plate, I replayed Jacob’s last words to me tonight. “Lock up good tonight, Bells. I smell a strong sweetness in the air.” He had no idea how I wished that were true.

I hung the dishtowel to dry and went out on the back stoop, staring at the forest. It was dark, but it didn’t scare me. Before turning in for the night I spoke out loud, “Good night, Edward. I love you.”

Chapter 2

I still kept the bedroom at the top of the stairs. I had repainted and gotten new furniture along the years. But in all those years, I never replaced the mattress. It was there that we talked for hours; there that he held me, and that we kissed. It was worn now, and honestly my back would most definitely benefit from a new mattress. I just couldn’t part with it.

I got ready for bed and turned on the bedside lamp. I opened my window a crack, like I had every night since he left. Then I took out my journal. I always wrote in it on nights that I felt particularly preoccupied with memories. I learned years ago that writing my thoughts down would often ward off the nightmares I had so often. Somehow I wasn’t sure it would help tonight. My journal, like anything else about my life, was not a typical journal. I actually wrote letters to Edward. I had filled over a dozen blank books with letters to him. Maybe someday, when I was gone, he would read them and understand the depth of my love for him. He would know that I figured out why he really left and that I eventually forgave him. Tonight was a night I knew I needed to write to him. And so I began…

My Dearest Edward,
I’ve missed you so much today. It’s my birthday. I turned thirty-eight today. That means it is almost 20 years to the day since you’ve been gone. I never would have believed that I would be without you after all these years. On days like today, I still feel the hole in my chest. I know it was your love for me that allowed you to leave. But, I wonder, do you still think of me? I love you, much now as ever before.

I stopped there because tears were making it difficult to write. I cried myself softly to sleep.

Shortly afterwards, the nightmare began. It was always the same when it came. Wandering in the forest. Calling out his name. Crying. Never finding him. Feeling so alone. And then…waking up in a cold sweat, sobbing for what I would never have again.
I tried to calm myself, counting my breaths, in and out.

Then I heard his voice, “Bella.”

I sat upright and looked around the room. It was empty, of course. But, I didn’t feel alone in the room. Oh, God. Tonight was particularly bad. I was having delusions again. It was years since I had heard the delusions this clearly. I tried to concentrate harder. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…

I felt a cool breeze in the room and instinctively pulled the blanket higher to my chin.

“Edward?” I whispered into the dark room.

Table of Contents
Clickable Links

Chapters 1 & 2- on header of each page
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14

Chapter 15 -This is not clickable....look for it near p. 34

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21

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Replies to This Discussion

OMG what other options need more please i have sent u a freind reqwest so will u send me and email when u have a new chapter please
such a brill story dying to know what happens
Ohhhh I can't wait for the "options" :]] Very good
I really like this story, and its psychological point of view. It is like finally Edward and Bella are at the same wave length, more matched and equal. Bella has matured and now knows who she is, and seems that she has been true to herself.
Also, she has had a lot of years to think. Is her decission to become immortal still the same or will she choose to stay human?
Ah MY... Love this story have cried the last two chapters..need more please!!!! What are the options and why is carlisle aging??? love this awesome..
Purely amazing ... please say there is a way that they can be toghther :p
Maybe plastic surgery ?
OMG keep going I love it!
Happy Mother's Day! Here's your Edward fix....

Chapter 10

“As you know, Bella, “Carlisle began. “Edward and I spent quite a bit of time treating patients in Africa. We also did medical research there; trying to blend modern medicine with the traditional remedies the local people were accustomed to. About a year and a half ago, we spent some time in a village where the life expectancy of the villagers was much higher than any of the other villages we had spent time in. These villagers were averaging at least ten more years of life than other Africans. They also looked an average of ten years younger.”

“So,” Edward took over, “Carlisle and I started to research their lifestyles. We studied their eating habits, sleep habits, sexual activity, anything we could think of that may have accounted for this phenomenon. We even checked birth records to make sure that the dates of birth and death were being logged in the same manner. We couldn’t seem to find any significant difference.”

“Until about nine months ago, “ Carlisle added. “A local medicine man spent some time at the medical center, learning our methods as well as sharing his methods with us. We spoke to him about our study and shared our confusion with him. He was the one who finally, pointed us in the right direction. The villagers, he told us, are very protective of their secret.”

“Why?” I finally questioned. “Why would they be afraid to tell you if you had been helping them?”

Carlisle continued, “ You see, Bella. It seems that there is a plant that only grows in this village, not in any other part of Africa that we’ve visited, maybe no other part of the world. The villagers believe that if a person boils one leaf from this plant and drinks the brew, he will prolong his life. They are afraid that if anyone outside the village finds out about the plants, their village would be raided and destroyed. Who wouldn’t want that kind of miracle drug, right?”

I nodded mesmerized.

“Anyway,” he continued, “what we learned was this, one leaf seems to reverse human age by about ten years.”

I was starting to understand, “So,” I asked, do two leaves reverse human age by twenty years then?”

“No”, Carlisle, smiled. “Two leaves seems to be toxic and can actually kill you. In addition, it also seems that the brew may only be taken one time in your life. More would kill you as well.”

“So,” said Edward, “Carlisle and I got to thinking about our world. We wondered if the plant would have any effect on a vampire at all. If indeed this one plant were so powerful, would it be able to alter our ages at all? And, would we ever have a need to know?”

“That’s when I decided to be the guinea pig.,” said, Carlisle. “I tried it as a medical experiment for our own kind. And as you can see Bella, it did work, just in reverse. I noticed you observing me earlier. You had noticed. Correct?”

“Yes, I did notice. But it had been so long since I’d seen you I couldn’t be sure if it was my memory or a real change. So, are you saying that the plant will age a vampire ten years then?” I questioned.

“Well, we aren’t really sure. After my change, Esme wanted to try it. She only seemed to age about three years. Alice didn’t age at all. And Jasper, well Jasper aged more than ten years. For him it was almost fifteen.”

“And for Edward? It didn’t work then?” I asked.

“I didn’t try it,” he answered.

“Why?” I asked looking at him.

“I didn’t know if or how you would want me. If you took me back, I couldn’t guess…would you want me to remain unchanged or not? I wanted you to make the decision. I don’t know how or if my body will react. Maybe I’ll look like the old man that I really am.” he laughed.

I realized Carlisle had left us alone again and Edward led me out onto the back porch. It was a cool night and I pulled the pashmina around my shoulders. I smiled to myself. Alice had seen all of this coming. Alice knew what tonight would bring. I wondered what else she already knew.

We stood in silence for a while, until Edward turned me towards him. “Bella, do you want me to change? Should I take the chance?”

I took his hand in mine. “We both should.” I said. “Not because I don’t love you exactly as you are. On the contrary, you have the most breathtaking face I have ever seen. But I don’t want us to have to hide.”

“There’s no guarantee. We can’t be totally sure of the results.”

“I’m willing to take that risk.” I said.

“Bella, you do understand that these people we studied eventually did age, right. I mean at some point you will be back to where you are now, aging naturally.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Bella.” He laughed. ”You will. Aging is inevitable. It’s a natural part of life. This will only change you for a while.”

I shook my head no again. “No, Edward. Because as soon as the potion takes effect. You are going to change me.”

“Absolutely not!, he hissed. “Especially now that you so clearly told me that you do not want to be seen as a predator. Because, Bella, that is exactly what you will be if I change you, a predator.” His jaw was clenched and I watched him struggle to control his temper.
“You KNOW how I feel about this. I won’t take your life away.”

I gave him a moment. Then more calmly he added, “You have me, Bella. And I’m promising I will never, never leave you again, no matter what the risk. I promise you that”

“And now, YOU know how I feel, Edward. I obviously did not move on to have the life you thought I would after you left. Don’t you see, Edward? You are… you have always been my life. I have no life without you.”

“I want you forever.” I continued with resolve in my voice. “All of you…no more worries… no more stopping because I’m too fragile. I want all of you, Edward… forever.

And then he surprised me. “OK.” He said.

“OK?” I asked stunned.

“Yes, but I have one condition, “ he said pausing. “Marry me, Bella.”
This is great but why do I have the sneaking feeling that Edward is going to end up really REALLY old looking....she should be the old one to drink it 8 to 10 years older really isn't THAT much plastic surgery in a tea wouldn't that be awesome!
Bella43 - this is absolutly beautiful keep going with this story this what the OWG loves to hear
aww! i knew it had to something to do with why carlisle looked old
Oh my goodness, you are such a great writer, I got all sad when I finished the saga and the draft for Midnight Sun, I thought I would never enjoy another story again. But here I am, wanting more of your story, I am infatuated by you creative mind. Thank you so much for writing; I love this version, it’s very interesting. I'll be checking for updates. Thanks again.
Please write more and do let me know once its really nice..the suspense is killing me..more


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