What was going on in Edward's complicated mind that those fateful hours after Jasper's attempt on Bella's life.
This is a one-shot complete fan fiction.
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Edward Decides to Leave
After the birthday party:
While Bella slept in my arms I thought about all that had happened. What was I doing – satisfying my own selfish needs and desires while putting her life in danger. I couldn’t be with her 24 hours a day, although it almost seemed like that now. What if she had gotten a paper cut when I wasn’t there. What if I hadn’t heard the change in Jasper’s thoughts, or anyone else for that matter. Alice loved Bella as much as I did, and she could barely keep herself under control around her blood.
Human feelings weren’t like ours. Once we fell in love, it was as immovable and permanent as our bodies. Humans fell in and out of love all the time. Bella would be no different. She was no more then a teenager in love. It would hurt, but she could heal and move on. I saw her on her wedding day - with a man, a human, and her life with friends and family, part of ordinary life… children…. I winced. That hurt. Hurt more then anything – all the things I would love to give her, but couldn’t. Reality was setting in - I couldn’t give Bella the life she deserved. She deserved better.
But could I still be her protector? She needed a protector. Maybe I could stay around and watch over her, make sure she was safe, watch from the sidelines… I shook my head. There was no way I could do that without being a part of her life. She wouldn’t let me and I wouldn’t be able to control myself. I wanted her too much. The only way was to leave. But could I? Could I really leave now? I thought about leaving. It was painful. How I would walk away?
Her protector… I needed to be her protector. Maybe I could do that by leaving. I could find my purpose in that – ensuring her protection by staying away, keeping her safe. And there was Victoria – she had run off, but what if she ever came back? She wouldn’t, but I could make sure. I could find her and ensure she never came back. Yes, I could do that. A sense of purpose tempered the pain of leaving, making it more palatable, more possible.
She would fight me on this. I couldn’t read her mind, but I knew her well enough to know what she would say. She would say that she loves me - as much as she could love me, and she couldn’t picture her life otherwise. She thought she wanted to be with me forever, but what did she know about forever. She was young. I was her first love. Isn’t that the way it always was with humans? First love was the strongest – they write songs and stories about it. But nobody actually stays with their first love anymore. Yes, she would fight to keep me, and I would be powerless against her arguments. I needed to have a plan.
What if… what if I could convince her that I didn’t love her anymore, would she believe me? How could she? Wasn’t my love obvious – wasn’t it as unending as the ocean. It seemed impossible – I would have to know exactly what to say. It would take hours. Perhaps I couldn’t convince her, but maybe I could plant enough of a seed of doubt that she would eventually come to accept it as the truth and move on. I would have to be meticulous – make it a clean break. Remove all reminders to let her mind heal and move on. That was the amazing thing about humans. Their minds and their hearts still pulsed with life, allowing them to move and adjust to changes, to grow. They were flexible and fickle. She would move on, I convinced myself.
And so I thought through the night, what I would say, what arguments I would give, the actions I needed to do in order to prepare. I left in the early hours to speak to my family and make the necessary plans.
“What are you thinking?” Alice screamed at me as I approached the house. She had seen the plan and was preparing to fight me on it. “Do you realize what this will do to her? What about me and the rest of the family? We love her too!”
I raise my eyebrow at that…
“Okay, maybe not Rosalie. But I love her. I want to be her friend. Why can’t you accept the inevitable and be happy. Why must you be such a martyr?”
I shook my head and walked past her, calling the family together as I entered the house.
We met together around the dining room table. “This has been coming for a while” I started, “since everything happened last spring – I realized that I am dangerous for Bella. It is time to let her go on with her own life. I have been waiting to find the strength to do the right thing – and now I think I can. So, I am going to break up with her and leave. I know you don’t want to leave, but most of us have “graduated” and were going to go to college anyway. This is as good a time as any.” I looked to Carlisle to take over and start making plans for our departure, as we had some many times before.
“I am not sure I agree with you, son.” He spoke immediately so I didn’t get a sense of his thoughts before I heard his words. I was shocked. All his love, all his compassion for humans… couldn’t he see this was the only way? “You are going to hurt her. She loves you. She has already proven that. And she is good for you - you have changed in so many ways. Do you really think you can leave her now? Do you really think this is the right choice?”
Esme looked at me with her sad eyes. “You have been so happy. And she is special. What makes you think you will be able to move on?”
Of course I wouldn’t be able to move on. “This isn’t about me, it is about her. She needs a chance at a normal life. Wouldn’t each of us give anything to have that opportunity? She deserves better then this.” Better then me.
Jasper wouldn’t look at me. I could read his thoughts, though he tried to hide them. “Jasper, this isn’t your fault. Don’t take this on yourself. It was inevitable. I have thought all along that, eventually, I would need to become strong enough to leave. I wasn’t strong enough last spring. I think, now, I am.”
“How could I not, Edward? You will be miserable and miserable to be around – how am I going to live with that. If I hadn’t lost control, would you even be contemplating this?”
Alice put her arm around him and glared back at me.
The only one who seemed to be on my side was Rosalie. “Edward, I think you are doing the right thing. I would give anything to have my life back. It isn’t right to ask her to give up hers. If you can do this, I think you should.”
I appreciated her words, but her thoughts weren’t as pure. Her jealously went much deeper then the others realized and I had a difficult time accepting her support. Emmett just stared at her. “I don’t know, Edward” he said drawing a little further away from Rosalie to avoid her glare, “She makes you happy, and she makes us laugh. What is the problem?”
I was seething. “The problem is her life. The problem is her soul.” I yelled back. How could I condemn her? Why couldn’t they see that this was the right thing? Why couldn’t they just support me as I had supported each of them?
Silence fell over the table at my outburst. After a few moments, Carlisle broke the stand off “Alice, what do you see?”
Alice stood for a moment, very still as I watched scenes cross through her mind – some confusing, some clear, but none stayed long. There was no clear path. “It is hard to say. Even now, it seems the future is undecided. I suppose partly because we are undecided. Perhaps Edward, himself, is still wavering. I just can’t see anything for certain.”
“Edward, we will give you a week. We will leave while you figure things out. Then, when you return to us, we will decide our next steps.” He started. He wasn’t convinced to go along with my plan, but he was giving me space to figure it out. He knew, if they were here, they would try to talk me out of what I was thinking of doing. And he knew that I needed to make my own decision.
They packed up and made plans to relocate to our Alaska location with Tanya’s family. Carlisle generated a story of an offer from LA. That would, at least, provide a reasonable cover and, if Bella tried to find me, point her in the wrong direction.
Of course, she would know that it was the wrong location – sunny Los Angeles. But perhaps that was for the better as well. She would know that we were purposefully leaving no direction, no remembrance of our presence. And that would help her move on.
Esme found me before I left to return to Bella’s room. She put her hands on my face and looked into my eyes with such love and concern, I could barely stand it. I hardly remembered my natural mother anymore. Esme had been my mother for so long. She was searching for something – some note of hesitation, some sense that I would change my mind. Son, she thought, I believe you are underestimating Bella’s love for you. I believe you are making a mistake. I love you deeply and I will stand by you, but I want you to know, I believe you were meant to be together. She is a part of this family and what you are doing is tearing us apart.
If I could cry, tears would have welled up in my eyes. Instead I reached for her and she held me like a son, stroking the back of my head as I shook. In that moment, I almost changed my mind. But, as I pulled away I remembered my vision of Bella’s other life, the life she deserved, and I knew I loved her enough to give her that - To give her her chance for salvation.