Two months. It had been two months since I had left her. Two months, every hour dragging longer than the century I had lived through.
I had no idea where I was. There might have been people around me, I didn’t know, I didn’t care.
Bella’s face flashed before me, then disappeared once more.
The beauty of the life with her mocked me now. What I had lived for a year now became a tantalizing yet forbidden dream.
To be able to see her, to be able to speak to her, to catch her when she fell, to listen to her little sarcastic remarks, to be able to stroke her face, to be able to hold her, to be able to watch her sleep and hear her breathing, to be able to covet her company and attention every day…
To hear her heart respond to my every touch, every word, every look…
To be loved by her…
To call her mine…
Empty. Nothing existed without her.
Every second was torture, every moment laced with loss, every breath plagued with memories.
I would pay anything, do anything to truly see her face once more.
It would have been easy, almost effortless, if it was only that. What had I to struggle with? Only the loss of my life, my soul; only never to be able to see her, touch her, speak to her; only never to be able to call her mine, only never to be able to live again… What was that worth? If only my life was forfeit, it would be nothing. If I, by leaving, could save her from a life of danger, could give her back the normal quiet life she deserved, then I could be at rest.
All the humans I had ever met had changeable emotions, I had no reason to believe Bella otherwise. Surely, her love would fade in time. Surely, she would be able to love another.
Perhaps, she had already forgotten me, perhaps she was happy now, perhaps she had someone else now… If she was happy, then all was well. I could leave silently, at peace, content.
But if she wanted me back…
I clutched unseeingly at the objects around me. My fingers encountered a solid object I dimly recognized as a tree trunk. It was then I knew I was upon the ground, in a forest.
If I could be certain that it was only me that suffered…it would be a simple trade. My happiness for hers. That decision was too easy to make. But…
If she, with any fiber of her being, wished my presence… If she still thought of me…If she was waiting for me with open arms…If she was in pain…
She had said she loved me.
Bella’s face appeared before me, every feature clearer and sharper than any of my previous visions. The conviction in her eyes that moment I told her I didn’t want her anymore, the unquestioning belief, the emptiness…
Dimly, I registered the sound of the trunk shattering under my fingers, the swish of the branches as they fell to the ground. My fingers clenched into themselves, empty now.
Bella’s tortured face remained before my eyes, every detail so painfully clear. In vain I tried to replace it with an image of her smiling. That single image would remain, haunting me : Bella, hurt; Bella, in pain; Bella, convinced of my indifference; Bella, wishing for my love, suffering…
No! Bella please, I begged the vision, no, Bella, I lied, I lied! I love you, I love you, I promise! No, no, please, Bella, don’t… please! I love you, I love you, believe me. Bella, Bella, I’m so sorry…listen to me Bella! Please! I love you, truly, I do.
Her eyes remained blank as they gazed unseeingly at me, unmoved. Blindly I clawed at the grass beneath me, ripping it, tearing up the ground.
Please, Bella, don’t be like that… don’t…we’ll start over, and I’ll never ever leave you again. I’ll stay with you, no matter what. I love you, I always have. That was a lie, a lie! Forgive me, and we’ll start over…I’ll protect you, I won’t let anything happen… I pled, desperate.
Then, amazingly, she smiled. And she was happy, like nothing had happened, like she had never known a wound. And she held her hand out to me.
I lunged wildly at it, the rope to my bliss, to our happiness.
But all I felt was cold air.
My hand stilled.
It was when my body calmed that I registered the violent tremors that had shook me. I relaxed as I understood that it was only a vision. Nothing had really happened. Bella was not in pain…
I remembered how the vision smiled at me when I told her I would stay with her.
If, that vision was in any aspect, true…If it would make her happy…
I so nearly went back then. That thought alone propelled me from the ground. I clutched the grass, but that was insufficient. I grasped at lone branches, but they too gave way. I braced myself, holding the earth, trying everything to keep myself from flying out of this place and into her room.
Damn it, no! I told myself. She’s happier now. Who would want a life of danger? Who would love a soulless monster? She has forgotten you now, she doesn’t want you anymore. What makes you think she would want you back? What have you to offer her? She deserves a normal life, a normal lover…
No, No, No!
I pictured her with a human boy, Mike Newton. They were talking and laughing together. Mike held her hand, and she was happy, her eyes focused only on him. Their love would be simple, effortless, safe…
That image, had, until now, been a fear, an envy. Now it became my greatest comfort. I had no jealousy now: that flame had nothing to burn. It was the only shred of hope I had: the hope that she was happy, content.
As long as she was happy, anything else was inconsequential. My existence could be superfluous or meaningful, depending on her wishes. I couldn’t care less for that. I belonged to her, and she could do to me what she desired.
I smiled at the vision, content if she was.
Yet that vision shattered, and Bella, only Bella was there, her eyes on me, her smile warm and trusting. The previous image seemed false and pale in contrast. Her eyes held no reproach.. They were inviting, loving.
I shook my head. No, no. no! If she has not forgotten you, she will in time. You will only doom her to a life of exile. You will only bring her harm. You can never make her happy…
It would be so much easier, if I could be sure of her indifference.
But if she still loved me…
I lifted my head.
Then, a buzzing and a high-pitched tone from my shirt pocket. My phone. I took another two steps before wrenching myself from my trance. The phone rang again.
Still dazed, I pulled it from my pocket. Rosalie’s name flashed across the screen. I swore out loud, but silently was grateful for this distraction, shocked at my thoughts and actions. I put the phone to my ear.
“Hello?” I sighed.
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