Inspiration from the song Tears of An Angel by RyanDan
The whole room began spinning around me. I felt sick, if a vampire could get sick. The emotions running through me now were even more unbearable than the past four miserable years. I fell to my knees and even though I didn’t need to breathe it felt like my breath had been knocked out of me. I pressed my hands against the floor trying to hold myself up. I could hear all the panic going on around me, as my family tried to discern what to do or say to comfort me.
“Edward!” Esme gasped with worry reaching out for me, but unsure if touching me would really help or worsen my condition.
Oh, good grief! Here we go with the temper tantrum! Such a two year old, Edward, seriously! Rosalie thought smugly.
Edward, bro, you okay? Get a grip! Emmett thought with more concern than frustration.
I could feel Jasper emanating calming emotions over me, but it didn’t help. I was beyond help.
I hated letting them see me like this. This is why I had left in the first place. Not only was it hard enough to live with three perfectly matched, blissfully happy couples, but I knew I would be a complete mess without Bella. I would be falling apart constantly and I couldn’t bare for them to have to witness my self destruction. But I couldn’t do anything about it now. I was falling apart in front of them and there was nothing neither they nor I could do about it. I couldn’t move. My body was unwillingly frozen in place as I gasped for air my lungs didn’t need. I was certain this must be what dying felt like; a slow, tormenting, agonizing pain ripping me apart from the inside out. Bella was getting married, and I would lose her forever. She had moved on, just as I had intended, but it still tormented me. How could I have hoped she would have waited all this time? Hadn’t I told her I was never coming back, that she would never see me again? She had done what any other human girl would have done, she moved on. I swallowed back the acid building in the back of my throat.
I fought to pull myself together. When I decided to come back I had known this was a possibility. I had thoroughly considered it. Hell, I had even expected it. I realized that deep down I had hoped that she waited, maybe knowing herself that I couldn’t stay away and would come back for her. Could I honestly expect her not to have fallen in love with someone after all this time? How selfish was I? To hope after all this time, after what I put her through and then expect her to still be waiting around for me to come back. This was what I had wanted, right? This was the entire reason I left, so she could go with a normal life with no more interference from a lifeless, dangerous vampire. I had resolved with myself if that were the case, if she had moved on with her life, then I would leave her be, I wouldn’t interfere. I would only go back if I knew there was a possibility she could still love me. How could she still love me? After all this time, how could I have hoped she would still feel that way for me? I couldn’t think clearly. So the next question that came out of my mouth spilled out of my lips before I could stop it.
Why did it matter who? It was probably no one I knew anyway. It was certainly none of my business. It made no difference who it was. Who was beside the point. Perhaps it was still the dire need I felt to protect her. Even if that meant protecting her from an unsuitable, unworthy boy who could never love her the way I loved her. Still, she had chosen him. She had said yes to him. She had moved on and I swore to myself that if she had then I would let her be happy. I couldn’t kill this insignificant boy that she chose to spend the rest of her life with, though I really wanted to.
Edward, I don’t think that really matters. Carlisle thought cautiously.
“It matters to me! I just want to know who. Please, just tell me.” I pleaded with him. Carlisle was right. It was likely to only make things worse. What if it was someone I knew? What if it were that pathetic excuse for a human being Mike Newton? Would I be able to maintain enough self control to not kill someone as unworthy as Mike Newton?
Carlisle exchanged a wary look with Esme and she nodded her head at him. Tell him. She approved. “Let’s talk in my office.” He said leading the way. I followed him down the long hall to his study. It had been so long since we had lived here in Denali. Second only to Forks, it was the closest thing we had to a real home.
Only Esme followed us. I was glad Carlisle had excused us. I was tired of trying to tune out Rosalie’s spiteful thoughts and trying to shake off Jasper’s calm. It didn’t take her Rosalie long to return to her normal ways. One pleasant, selfless thought was more than enough for her for one day…or one week even. I couldn’t blame any of them for their concern and confusion. None of them would ever be able to understand the way I felt about Bella. But at least my family, with the exception of Rose, were willing to accept what they didn’t understand, what they never could understand. That Bella was my life, whether she moved on with some undeserving, feeble human boy or not. It didn’t change anything. I still would always need her in my life. I would still have this undying need to be near her, to be her “guardian angel” as she once called me. I guess it would be more bearable to let her move on if I knew she was happy and being well taken care of. Thus, why it was so important, why I needed to know, why I had to know who this boy was; or at least that’s what I told myself.
Carlisle shut the door behind us and I could hear him struggling in his head where to start. At the beginning he decided. I could tell he was struggling with what he needed to say, he didn’t want to hurt me.
“Edward, after you left, well, Bella became severely depressed.” he paused for a moment to stare into my eyes trying to see how I was taking his news. I wanted to cringe. Hearing that I had been the cause of so much pain in Bella’s life made me want to rip my skin off. It was unthinkable to hurt someone as precious as she. But I kept myself composed. When I didn’t change my expression Carlisle continued. “Her father was terribly concerned. The doctors were telling him she was catatonic. Charlie felt helpless; he was going to send her back to live with her mother.”
“Stop right there, Carlisle.” I interrupted him with irritation. “How do you know this?”
I knew there was only one way they could know such things, but I was going to make him say it.
“Alice.” He stated, waiting for my rebuff.
“Why was Alice keeping tabs on Bella? I specifically told her not to!” I shouted, becoming more angry.
“I know, Edward. But she couldn’t help it. Even if she tried not to, and she really did try, she wanted to honor your request, Edward. She was too attune to Bella. It just came to her without her trying. After Alice saw how awfully Bella was managing she intentionally kept an eye on her. She was just concerned for her, we all were.”
I could hear the honesty in his words and I understood. They loved her too. I couldn’t blame them for caring and being concerned. As angry as I wanted to be with them, I couldn’t. How could anyone not feel that way about Bella? It crushed me to hear how terribly she handled me leaving. It ripped me apart inside what I did to her. I struggled to hold myself together. I nodded at Carlisle to continue afraid if I spoke I would loose my composure.
“We never went back to Forks, we never bothered her. Bella was never aware we were keeping tabs on her.” he hesitated before continuing, taking a deep breath. “Even after Alice saw Bella jump off a cliff into the ocean.” If my heart was still beating it would have stopped. Again, I gasped desperately for air I didn’t need and I could feel myself loosing control again. “No.” was all I could manage to whisper.
“Alice thought she was dead.” He said with a heavy heart. I could see how it pained him to even remember it.
“No!” I shouted trying harder not to loose it. I could feel the tremors rocking through my body as I struggled to hold myself together. I wanted to fall to my knees again. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry. Dang my emotionless eyes for not being able to relieve me of just one tear!
“Bella never resurfaced.” I could see the memory replaying in his head as Alice told them what she had seen. I could even feel the dreadful sorrow he felt when she told him this. “Alice wanted to go to her, to stop it from happening, but it was too late. Bella drowned, Edward.” And she begged you to let her do it when she died. He thought in a side. He couldn’t bring himself to say it aloud. And I could tell he really did not even want to think it.
What was he saying to me? How could it be? How could Bella be dea…I couldn’t bring myself to even think the word. I almost fleeted from the room wanting to run away again. Run until the pain stopped, though I was sure it never would, but I just stood there frozen, unable to move. There had to be another part to this story. Bella was alive, she was getting married. She had to have survived it, but how? And what did he mean she begged me to let her drown? If I had been there would she honestly think I would just let her die? I searched Carlisle head for more. I had to know she was ok, I had to know how she survived.
“What happened?” I begged.
“He saved her.” He? He who?!
“Who? Who saved her? How!?” I demanded.
“Jacob Black. He pulled her lifeless body from the water and performed CPR on her until he was able to revive her. He saved her, Edward. She died, and he saved her.” I didn’t have to be able to read minds to understand the duel meaning in his last words. Yes, Bella had died physically, but she had died emotionally too. I killed her. I left to save her and I killed her anyway.
I let my face fall to my hands and I groaned into them. I wanted to rip my hair out and I balled my hand into fists as I wept a tearless sob into my palms.
“Oh Edward,” Esme whispered placing her soft hands on mine as she gently tried to untangle my hands from my hair. She was so loving and sensitive. I was a murderer yet she was still willing to love me and comfort me. I should be comforting them for all I had put them through. Carlisle continued.
“Jacob was her friend. He was the only person she could stand to be around, the only person who would accept her for what she was…broken.” I could hear the struggle in Carlisle’s head as he tried to not be so honest. He knew what he had to say would hurt me. But I deserved it.
“She wasn’t living, Edward. She was just going through the motions. She was just surviving. She would talk to you like you were still standing there right beside her.”
Now I understood what he meant when he said she begged me to let her drown. She couldn’t let me go after I left. Just like I couldn’t let her go.
“After she drowned, after Jacob saved her, she realized it was time. She had to let go of you Edward, it was killing her. Jacob was all she had. He had rescued her in so many ways.” I sat there trying to process all he was saying.
“So this, Jacob Black, this is who Bella is marrying?” I could hardly bring myself to say the words. I already knew the answer.
“Yes.” he said regretfully, nodding his head.
We were all silent for a moment while I tried to collect myself. I could hear Carlisle going over in his head everything he had just told me to be sure he hadn’t left anything out. But he had left something out.
“So why did Alice go now?” What could possibly have impelled Alice to go back now if she didn’t even go back to stop Bella from killing herself? Then I saw it in both their minds simultaneously. I groaned internally because I should have known.
“Because she loves her.” I answered my own question.
The both starred at me waiting for my response. I saw it in their minds. Alice loved Bella. They all did. Alice had seen me coming back for Bella. She knew more certainly than I did that I couldn’t stay away. She always thought of Bella as her sister. Carlisle and Esme thought of her as their daughter. They continued to think of her that way even after we left. But when I didn’t come back, and Alice saw Bella marrying this Jacob Black, Alice thought she had been wrong. It grieved them to be losing the sister, the daughter that they were certain would one day be a part our family. Alice had never considered I wouldn’t be coming back. Alice went to Forks to say goodbye. She never got a chance to say goodbye to the sister she loved. Carlisle and Esme never got to say goodbye to the daughter they had come to love so dearly. But I didn’t come back, not in time, at least. Alice went back to Forks to say goodbye to Bella for good.
I sighed. I couldn’t begrudge her this. Had I not brought Bella into their lives? It was because of me they had come to love her so much, and it was because of me that she would not be part of our lives now. My decisions not only hurt me, not only killed Bella, but it had hurt my family as well. I had made a huge mess of things. What was I thinking? Deep down I knew I couldn’t stay away forever. Why did I wait until it was too late to come back?
“I’m sorry.” I whispered. It was hardly the apology they deserved. But it was all I had in me at the moment. I would make it up to them.
“It’s okay, son.” Carlisle said comforting. “You did the right thing. It was hard what you had to do, more difficult than I can imagine. But you did what was right. We don’t hold that against you.”
I could hear his thoughts back up the sincerity in his words. As much as it hurt him to let Bella go, he knew it was the right thing. Like before, without my permission the words began to spill out of my mouth again.
“I want to see her.” The words were true, but I shouldn’t have said them aloud.
“No, Edward, you shouldn’t.” Carlisle discouraged. How well I knew I shouldn’t. It wouldn’t be right. But I’ve done many of things I should have never done. As I pondered over each of them a new revelation was revealed of another thing I never should have done. I never should have come back. I never should have left Forks. I never should have fallen in love with Bella. I never should have spoken to her and allow her fall in love with me. There were many things I never should have done that got me to where I was now. But I had to see her.
“I know Carlisle. But I need to go. I need to say my own goodbye.” He stared at me for a moment trying to discern if he could convince me to stay. Finally he nodded his head, knowing no matter what he said it wouldn’t keep me from going. She would never know I was there. I would keep a safe distance from her. Sure, I might allow myself to stare a few daggers into the back of Jacob Black’s head, but I wouldn’t physically harm him. How could I harm anything, any one that loved Bella? Who had saved her from drowning and brought her back to life after I left her for dead. Yes, this Jacob had done so much for my Bella, and I couldn’t hate him, as much as I wanted to. Did she love him? I suppose she did, seeing as she agreed to marry him. But just the thought of it made me feel sick again. I had to get a look at this Jacob kid. Make sure he was good enough for my Bella. Make sure he deserved her love. I scoffed at myself. What if he wasn’t? What if, by my determination, as if that really mattered, I thought he wasn’t good enough for my girl? What could I do? Who was I to determine what was best for her? No, even if this Jacob kid was found in my eyes unworthy of my girl I still had to let it happen. Because it was her choice. He was her choice. She had said yes to him and it was what she wanted. Right then I swore to myself to never do anything again that would screw up Bella’s life more than I already had. She was finally happy, Esme had said. I wouldn’t ruin that for her. She deserved her happiness. But I had to see her just one final time; even if only from a distance. I had to say goodbye.