So this is the alternate ending. Why did I write one? Because my two friends Julia and Jonathan decided that they liked Alistair better than Eric and wouldn't stop pestering me about Rose ending up with the wizard. So I wrote this for them. See you at the bottom!
My hand stops, the tip of the knife fractions of an inch away from my chest. The knife shakes before me and I realize I'm trembling with fear. I won't give up though.
I try again and the knife halts in the same place once more. The third time is usually the charm, but my third try is worse than the first two. My arm freezes and even though I grit my teeth and fight whatever force is keeping the knife away from me, it still won't budge.
Worn out, I drop the knife and it hits the floor with a metallic cling. I somehow land on the couch with a sob, curling up and covering my ears with my hands as the clock strikes twelve.
That's when it hits, the realization that I'll be a geek forever. It stings, but the knowledge that Eric abandoned me licks at me like flames, just waiting to consume me. The pain is too much; I'll jump out the tower window if I have to.
When I lift my head I see someone standing before me. I sit up abruptly and come face to face with Alistair. His eyes search my face for a reaction but I'm already dead in spirit if not in body. I do notice that there is pain in his blue eyes and their colour reminds me of Eric's eyes.
Eric, who didn't come back.
A new flood of pain hits with the last strike of the clock andI wonder if this is what the transformation feels like. I squeeze my eyes shut, hoping that when I open them I won't have glasses, braces, and greasy hair once more.
I don't know who answers my prayers, but I make a mental note to thank them later. I look back to Alistair who is not sitting beside me on the couch.
Without looking at me, he says two words: "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry too," I say after a while.
His head whips around and he looks at me with sad eyes. "So you know?"
I snort. "Yeah, I do know. I'm going to be a geek forever because Eric didn't love me. He didn't come back." My throat constricts and I swallow back the tears.
"If only you knew why," Alistair mutters under his breath. He sounds angry and incredibly sad at the same time and I can't seem to figure out any reason for why he sounds like he does.
"I want to."
"Rose," Alistair starts suddenly, "Eric did love you."
"Then why did I see him kissing that blonde?!" I interrupt, anger suddenly flaring. It feels good to feel at least some emotion.
Alistair grimaces. "That wasn't Eric. That was me. We switched identities so his brothers wouldn't know he left. They didn't want him to leave and I have no clue why."
I look at him with wide eyes. I feel so horrible for jumping to conclusions so quickly, even if that was what it had looked like in the textbook. Alistair was helping Eric the whole time and I didn't even realize it.
"Eric was on his way here and stopped at a hotel for the night. That was last night. This morning, as he was leaving, the hotel was robbed and he just happened to move at the exact moment they told everyone not to move. I didn't have time to stop the guy from pulling the trigger." The last part hits me harder than it has any right to.
The pain hits again, this one cutting much deeper. When it's gone I feel hollow inside, completely dead emotionally.
Then the tears finally come out, so many that they tumble over each other continuously, seemingly having no end. Alistair puts a hesitant arm around me and I let him console me while I cry into his shoulder.
"It it's any consolation," he says once I've calmed down a bit, "I know exactly how this feels. My girlfriend passed away not too long ago after battling cancer for two years."
This only sets me off again. I feel terribly sorry for him, an image of the terrified girl's face in my head. I feel bad for picking on her and am horribly pissed off with myself knowing that I could have apologized to her. If I had known I might not have the chance...
No, the old Rosalie wouldn't have even cared about that.
As if reading my thoughts, Alistair clears his throat loudly, "I wanted to apologize for what I said before about you not having changed at all. I was so horribly wrong. You have changed more than I thought you would. There are so many things you've done in the past five minutes alone that the old Rose would have shuddered to think about." He pauses for a while and finally says, "That's why I've decided to let you have your beauty back."
I whip around, stunned by what he has just said. When I get my voice back I hear myself say, "But I didn't get someone to tell me they love me. I should be a geek now."
Alistair shrugs. "Why don't we compromise and I keep the glasses and braces and you stay as you are right now?"
I nod, though I'm sure I didn't meet the qualifications of the curse breaker. I don't deserve my beauty back either.
"You got more than enough people to fall in love with you anyway," Alistair tells me.
Then, he leans in and kisses me on the cheek before getting up and moving to the door.
He looks back at me one last time with a sad smile and suddenly something in my head clicks. I get up and go after him, stopping in front of him. He's a bit taller than I am, so I have to push myself up on my toes to press a kiss to his lips.
"Thank you," I say.
Then he disappears, three words hanging in the air.
I rush through the streets of the busy city, my heavy bag falling off of my shoulder. I pull it up every few seconds, but it just falls back down again. Giving up, I focus on getting to my destination. Wouldn't want to be late.
The little restaurant comes into view and with it my friend, wearing a t-shirt like always, although this one is not as ratty. Well, I guess he'd be closer to my boyfriend now, but I'm not sure if we've established what we are yet. Both still sore from losing someone we loved, rushing this relationship would not be a welcome plan.
He spots me and a smile immediately lights up his face. I let him take my hand and lead me into the little restaurant.
Throughout dinner we talk of everything and nothing and I find I'm actually enjoying myself. Everyone around me disappears when I'm with him and, though the thought of Eric still lies in the back of my mind, I think Alistair is slowly helping me get over him just as I'm helping him get over his ex-girlfriend. He's also helped me get back into city life in my new geeky yet not-so-geeky state. I'm taking a few courses at the local university and am well on my way to earning a teaching degree.
After dinner we take a walk in the park. The grass is very green this year because of all the rain earlier in the summer. It's almost a sin to trample such a beautiful creation, but we lie down on the grass and watch the clouds above us.
"That one's a rabbit," I say,pointing at one of them.
"Looks more like a dragon," Alistair replies. I can feel his eyes on me and turn to look at him.
"How would you know?" I ask teasingly, "You're not even looking at the clouds."
"I know," he answers, still gazing at me, "This one looks like a rose." I look up at the clouds once more and look for a cloud shaped like a rose. Then I realize he meant me.
That's when I realize I'm slowly starting to fall for the wizard, the pain left behind by Eric diminishing every time I see Alistair.
"Thank you," I tell him and he smiles.
Indeed, thank you Alistair.
The end! I hope you enjoyed the alternate ending (ahem, iLovelyJulz and Niceguysfinishlast1029) and hope to see you around sometime soon. My next novel, Diabolic Clockwork, is to premiere on June 2nd, 2012. Summary, excerpt, and character pictures can be found here.
Thanks so much for all of the lovely comments throughout the novel - the ones that made me laugh and the ones that made me groan. You are the best readers a writer could ask for and I thank you all :) Good luck with all your guys' further writing, don't hesitate to leave me reading requests (I'll try getting around to them soon!)