As Bella sat staring out her bedroom window life continued on as if no one was aware of her broken heart. She really had no concern for what time of year it was or what the world was doing outside her bedroom window; the only thing on her mind was Edward and why he had chosen to leave her. She had loved him with her whole heart and every fiber of her being but it hadn’t been enough he left her anyway. She had tried to lie and convince herself that she had been better off without him but she knew the truth. The truth was she would never be the same, could never be the same without him. So instead of venturing out to start a new life and moving on as everyone had told her to she sat curled up in her chair and watched life go on outside her window trying to live the memories they had shared. Alice had been by her side and had tried to tell her that Edward loved her and that the only reason he had left was because he had honestly thought it was best for her, safer for her. Bella blamed herself for everything that had went wrong and she blamed herself for the fact that in the end he had gotten himself killed anyway. He had left leaving her behind and not only that but he had tried to take everything that would remind her of him, but he couldn’t take her heart. Her heart remembered every touch, every kiss and every moment spent with him and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved her, had always loved her. With that knowledge she and Alice had ran as fast as possible to Italy to try and stop him from making the most ultimate of sacrifices but they had been too late. He had stood in the middle of the plaza in the glaring high noon sun amid thousands and thousands of humans as they sat, stood and froze at the vision before them. Edward in the sunlight had been beautiful, magnificent. He was like a god, with rainbow shards glimmering on the sidewalk and reflecting off the windows, sparkling like a diamond. Of course the Volturi couldn’t let that happen so he had been seized immediately and taken beyond the palace gates to never be seen again. The crowds began to murmur but in the end they had been led to believe that it had all been an illusion, a trick of the brilliant sunlight. Bella and Alice had arrived just a minute too late. As they had raced as fast as they could down the corridors and up the winding steps that led them to the colorless, cavern like room that held him they could hear his tortured screams as his life ebbed away. As they barged into the room they saw him lying in the floor with his life already gone, his body a crumbled heap on the floor. Bella had held what was left him in her arms and cried hysterically begging for someone, anyone to bring him back to her for she knew she could live without many things but to live without the hope of ever seeing him again was impossible. She had already tried to live without him once and it hadn’t worked and she knew it wouldn’t work now for now all hope was gone, dead in her arms. Here she sat on the cobblestone floor with the pieces of her one true love in her arms knowing that from that moment forward she would never see his tousled bronze hair, his crooked smile or the love that would shine so bright in his eyes that it was impossible to see anything else. She had held him until the guards had taken him away and she smelled the fire and knew that her life as she had known it was over. So now here she was a lifeless entity with no thought of living but just barely existing. She was a shell of the person she had once been. She asked herself every day how had it ended like this? How was she supposed to go on now? She had given up on life and only wanted to live in her dream world where Edward was as alive as he had ever been. As she drifted further and further away Edward watched her and ached to ease her pain. He only asked for one more day with her or even just an hour he just needed to take her pain away. He too blamed himself for everything that had happened and only wanted to tell Bella that somehow, someway everything would be okay, that she would be okay.
Edward never intended to enter Bella’s room, but he could see her curled up on her bed with tears still drying on her cheeks. She was clutching an old Harvard sweatshirt that had once been his. He was drawn inside by the very smell of her drifting through the open window; how many times had he been here before? How many nights had she left her window cracked for his late night entries? He wondered if she did this out of habit or in hope that he would somehow come back. He quietly swung his legs over the window seal and lowered himself soundlessly inside. The room was exactly as he remembered it. The soft sweet floral scent of her lingered in the air and just seemed to pull him in. He could see her Chap Stick and hair clasps strewn on the vanity; she had never been very organized. He laughed as the memories filled his mind, Bella looking for her keys or searching for her i-pod. As he continued to scan the room his gaze settled on a corner shelf and he felt his chest tighten. It wasn’t the deep blue corsage from prom or the crumbled movie tickets from their one and only attempt at a normal date nor was it the baseball from their very first date but it was the 5 x10 framed photos. He could see Bella in his mind’s eye chewing on her bottom lip and how she had objected to having her picture taken. He had tried to take everything that might cause her unnecessary pain when he left but Bella had clung to every memory like a lifeline. He could see the rocking chair where he had sat so many nights and watched her sleep. How many times had he sat in that very chair and wished to be a part of her world rather than his own? He crossed the room and saw his Cullen family baseball cap on her bed post. He realized that there were traces of him everywhere, as if she refused to let him go. He quickly gathered all these left over reminders and placed them beside the window as if their absence would wash away all memory of him. He had been wrong to think that she would ever let go or forget so easily. He now stood by her bedside and watched the soft moonlight illuminate her perfect face. He could see the faint tracks where her tears had fallen before sleep had finally taken over. His poor Bella, she would always be his Bella and it made his very being ache to see her in such turmoil. Edward tried to imagine what it would be like to never see her again, to envision her with someone else but the vision just wouldn’t come. He couldn’t think of her as anything but his, she would always be his. He just couldn’t fathom not knowing or remembering her. He continued to stand at her side mesmerized by the rise and fall of her uneven breathing and the beauty that was Bella. She began to toss and turn, tangling the sheets and he could see pain radiating from every pore of her body. He heard her call his name as if what was left of her heart was breaking into tiny fragmented slivers that would never be put back in quiet the right place again. He thought of Adrianna the angel of time and memory maybe she was right it would be better for everyone to forget. He could not bear to see Bella in such turmoil and unending pain, if forgetting would heal her and make her whole then that was what he would do. He touched the small flask in his pocket and the leather pouch that she had given him and he knew what he had to do. As he stood and lovingly watched her, trying to memorize every facet of her face and ever sigh and moan that escaped her lips she slowly opened her lovely brown eyes. She blinked twice and then smiled a radiant smile that shone brighter than the sun.
“This dream is much nicer than the other ones.”
He smiled as he walked to the edge of her bed and knelt by her side, to clasp her hand firmly in his. He saw the life sparkling back into her once dull eyes. She smiled so serenely and so lovingly it made him ache for what he knew would come next.
“Bella, love I have missed you so.”
“Oh Edward I can’t even put into words how much the absence of you has turned my world upside down leaving a huge hole where my heart should be.”
Edward cringed as the words fell freely from her sweet lips. He knew that Bella had no reason to censor her words she would never lie to him, unlike the blasphemy that had poured out of his mouth when he had left. He regretted the harm he had caused her and would gladly do it over again if he could but he knew that would never happen. He drew a ragged breath and tried to form the words that he needed to say.
“Bella please listen for I do not have much time. I need to share some things with you and I hope that you understand and that somehow you will remember that you once knew a boy who loved you more than life itself.”
Edward could see the look of confusion filling her eyes and worry knitting her brow. As she gazed into his eyes she pulled on her bottom lip and he knew she was already fretting about what he had to say. She reluctantly nodded her head and waited for him to continue.
“Bella I know when I leave here tonight you will have no memory of me or this conversation but I still feel the overwhelming need to explain and apologize for the things that I caused to happen. I have always loved you even before I knew you I loved you. I spent my entire existence waiting for you. I was wrong for thinking I could walk away from you and I am so sorry for the pain I caused you. I want you to know that nothing that happened was your fault if there is any blame it falls solely on me. I made my decisions and I alone am to blame for what came next. My love for you was so vast that nothing could measure the depth of my love for you. Bella before you my life was a cold, dark and miserable place and then you came along and pulled me out of the darkness that had become my life. It was you brought my cold dead heart back to life and at times it was as if I could hear it beating. I knew I should have left before things went too far but I wasn’t strong enough to leave you or to deprive myself of your company so I stayed. I am so sorry that my selfishness has caused you so much pain.”
Edward had to stop before he came completely undone and became a blubbering mess. He rested his head on the edge of the bed and felt Bella’s butterfly soft touch as she began to run her fingers through his tousled hair. He marveled at the exquisite feel of her hand and knew that was just one of the many things he would be missing tomorrow. She began to mummer soft words of love and comfort in his ear and he could feel the warmth of her breath and the touch of her lips grazing his skin. Edward struggled to lift his head and see her troubled eyes looking expectantly at him.
“Bella promise me something.”
He waited as she looked at him and nodded her head. Edward knew she wouldn’t remember him come morning but maybe she would be able to somehow keep this promise.
“Love please don’t stop living. You have to promise me you will get up each day and take whatever cards are dealt and make the most of whatever this life has to offer. I want you to believe in the gift of love. I know when I leave you tonight that all our memories will fade and our life together will be no more than a dream that never came true, our lives as we have known them will be over. I know that time will pass and life will go on, but Bella my heart will remember when you were mine and my heart will not let me forget. I know that if there is any possible way for my spirit to come back to this earth that I will find my way back to you. I love you always your name and memory will be etched in my heart for eternity and beyond and I will find my way back to you.”
Edward raised Bella’s hand to his lips and gently pressed them to each of her fingers, then her palm. He slowly made his way up her neck until he found her mouth that was parted waiting to meet him half way. He savored the feel of her lips and the teasing of her anxious tongue as it assaulted his. He felt very much alive as if a million tiny fireworks were exploding behind his closed eyelids and the sensations that ran through his body had him shivering in want. Edward struggled to bring this life altering kiss to an end even though it was the last thing he wanted to do. He carefully pushed Bella away and let her head fall to rest on his chest. As he held her close he felt the rapid beating of her heart and the shallow breaths she now drew in and out. She raised her head slightly and looked at him questioningly.
“Edward I know this is a dream, your lips are so soft and warm and the touch of your hand so soothing as if you’re taking all my pain away.”
He sighed and drew her closer to his chest so she would not see the truth hiding in his eyes. Edward never wanted her to feel an ounce of pain ever again. He knew she had endured enough for a lifetime already. He would not let her continue to suffer because of him and his poor judgment.
“Bella, my Bella I love you so much and it is for you I am doing the unthinkable. Please try to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other and see where this new life takes you. You just have to breathe in and out and know that there will always be someone out there who always has and always will love you.”
He eased her back on her pillows and stood beside her bed. She was watching him as silent tears began to fall down her face. He held out his hand to catch one and clutched it in his fist as if that would thrust all her pain onto him. He would leave until she fell asleep. He slowly made his way to the window before glancing over his shoulder.
“Edward please come back I don’t want to be alone anymore. Just don’t go until I have fallen asleep.”
He could see her outstretched arms reaching for him. That one simple request was all that it took and he was by her side. He lay beside her and held her close to his heart. He would do this one thing for her before he left, he would stay until sleep came.
“Love close your eyes and go to sleep. “
He lost all track of time as he closed his eyes and tried to ingrain every memory firmly in his mind. He would not let himself forget one second of his life with Bella. He had no idea how long it was before she drifted off to sleep. He lay perfectly still beside her and listened to her strong heart beat until her breathing evened out and her soft mummers fell silent. The time had come. He rose from the bed and gripped the pouch in his hand. Edward quickly before changing his mind shook the memory dust in the air and watched as it fell on Bella’s sleeping body. He could see the tiny particles floating like tiny dust fairies in the shimmering moonlight. He knew in the morning any memory or idea she had of him would be forgotten forever. Edward could hear her talking in her sleep and calling out for him. The hardest thing he had ever done was turn away from his heart and walk to the window. He gathered up all reminders of the past before looking over his shoulder one last time. He drank in the sight of his Bella, his love, the only heaven he ever wanted to know. He pushed himself off the window ledge and landed softly on his feet already running to the forest. He found a place to stop and he took the flask out of his pocket. He knew that Adrianna would be here soon and that he had to finish this. He removed the cork and turned the bottle up and drained the dark, bitter liquid it held inside. It took his breath away as he felt a burn going down his throat and then back up again. He had never felt such pain not even as a new born. He threw the empty flask watching as it shattered into the bushes. He cursed the vile fluid that by the light of the morning sun would have erased all memory of his heart.
“Edward come we have to leave.”
He looked up to see Adrianna standing before him. She was so graceful and beautiful in a majestic kind of way. When she took him in her arms and unfolded her golden wings it was mind altering. She was indeed a sight to behold. She took off and within seconds they were in Heaven’s gates. Edward looked around and nothing had changed it was just as it had been earlier. He could see the streets of gold, he could hear choirs of angels singing the most beautiful hymns ever written but amid all the beauty and perfection he still missed his Bella. He hadn’t been sure what to expect but he knew that at some point Bella would be gone from him forever.
He looked at Adrianna waiting to see what was to become of him now. As her eyes rested on Edward he could see mercy and pity shine in her angel’s eyes.
“Edward you know that I am the angel of time and memory. I don’t think you really understand what that means but I am going to explain it to you. When you went to Italy and begged to be killed I was watching you. Bella and Alice raced to get to you but they arrived too late. I watched as Bella held your broken body in her arms. She was devastated and she pleaded and begged for someone to give back her Edward. I heard her cries and that is why I brought you here. I feel that even though your heart had ceased to beat it was still a good heart and you Edward were a good person. I think you lived an honorable life despite the circumstance you found yourself in. I feel that had you been able to live your life you would have been a selfless person who would have changed the world for the better. It is for these reasons that I think you deserve a second chance. I had to be sure that you had Bella’s best interest at heart, so I sent you to see her and to see if you would be unselfish. I know how you wanted to leave and not enter her room but you did it for her. I know how hard that was for you seeing her like that and then to talk to her and touch her for the last time and yet you never faltered you did the one thing that broke what was left of your heart. You chose to make Bella’s life better even though it meant her forgetting you completely. I gave you the potion that at first light will wipe your memory clean, at that time I am sending you back to earth for a second chance to be human. I hope you are able to have a chance at love, happiness and the life you were meant to have because you Edward Anthony Masen deserve it. Good luck Edward now sleeps and when morning comes go and find your place in the world for no foot print is too small to leave its mark.”
He watched as she began to sparkle so bright he had to cover his eyes and then in a shower of light she was gone. He had so many unanswered questions. He didn’t see how he could possibly not remember Bella and even if his human mind forgot he vowed that some way, somehow he would find her again.
He fought to stay awake to not close his eyes but eventually he lost the battle and he succumbed to the effect of the potion. He closed his eyes as visions of Bella filled his dreams.