I was surrounded by black, nothing except a heavy darkness and it swallowed everything around me. Even though I knew my eyes should be able to see in darkness, I saw nothing. I didn't feel like I was missing something, though, I felt like there was simply nothing around me. I heard a soft noise behind me and I stood and turned around. My movements were fluid, graceful even. I wasn't as surprised as I would have liked to be, there was no joy in my lack of my old clumsiness. There was a distant light, looking to be a few miles away, and I began walking towards it. The first step I took seemed to break something in the area and the light flew at me, shards of it breaking and flying right passed me at high speeds.
And then he was there.
He was looking down at me and it was bright. It took me a moment to realize I was no longer surrounded by nothingness, I was in the meadow. Edward was here and he was smiling down at me as if he'd never left at all. The sunlight was reflecting off his skin and he was just as beautiful as I ever remembered him being. Except his eyes were distant, he didn't really seem to be looking at me even though his eyes met mine.
His hand reaches up to touch my shoulder and I take a step back. No, we aren't just getting passed his mistakes. He fu*king left me, we aren't going back to normal. He needs to fu*king earn that shit.
"What is wrong with you, Edward? I can't just pretend nothing happened."
"Bella, come here, love." He smiled that crooked smile at me, tilting his head as if he was confused.
"Didn't you hear me?"
"Bella. Don't be ridiculous, come here." He was getting frustrated at me. Well, that was fine. I was beyond frustrated at him. All's fair in love and war, right?
"No, Edward, you try not to be ridiculous for a moment. Who do you think you are, walking back into my life like nothing ever happened?" My voice was rising steadily, my irritation at his inconsiderate actions fueling the fire.
"Bella, I don't know what you're talking about."
"You fu*king left, Edward, that's what I'm talking about!" I was screaming now. He was being so ignorant. I felt the anger building in my chest.
I realized suddenly that I didn't have a heartbeat. The second realization hit me even harder. I could take him. And without warning, the only thing I wanted to do was show Edward how much he'd hurt me, let him understand what a gaping hole in his chest felt like.
Because sometimes, a taste of your own medicine is all that's really needed to level the playing field.
"Bella, don't be absurd. That's not important. I'm here, now. What else could possibly matter?"
James. He could possibly matter.
I spun around wildly, scanning the area for him. I couldn't see any signs of him, the only things surrounding Edward and I were the woods and they felt empty. I turned to face Edward again and glowered at him.
"How did I get here?"
"You came here, Bella. You came here all on your own."
"Didn't someone come with me?"
"Who would have come with you, Bella? You've slaughtered everyone."
The funeral was heartbreaking. I watched as Charlie stood at the podium, just feet away from his daughter's casket, and wept into the microphone. He was trying to explain to everyone that Bella liked the color purple, that she was a straight-A student and an excellent cook. He had asked me to come, even admitting that he didn't know why but he felt like his daughter would have liked me. I shifted in my seat uncomfortably as Charlie tried to right himself, clearing his throat and rubbing his hand down his face to wipe away some of the tears.
"Bells was a good kid. She deserved to live a lot longer than this." His gaze floated over to the closed casket. I'd suggested he keep it closed so as not to cause anyone unnecessary pain. She wasn't injured or deformed, but Charlie could hardly look at the casket without blubbering, I didn't figure staring at his daughter's face was going to help. "I... I don't know what else to say," Charlie admitted quietly into the microphone. Stepping down from the podium, he walked up to the casket and put his hand on the smooth mahogany. "I love you, kiddo. I miss you already." His knees buckled beneath him and he sobbed against her casket, I got up from my seat and knelt beside him, my hand on his back. I didn't try to move him, but I tried to let him know he wasn't alone for this. I offered him some tissues from my pocket. I didn't know what else to do.
The funeral didn't go on much longer, Charlie had been the last to speak. From there, everyone went to the grave site and gathered around her plot. The headstone was beautiful, I had to admit. It was a deep gray color, with elegant script for her name and "love you, kid" written beneath it. Charlie wasn't able to think of anything else to put on there. He didn't want to just say "loving daughter" because, he said, she was more than that. She was more than a few words etched into stone that everyone else would put on someone's grave. "No," he'd said, "I'd just like it to show that I loved her. I don't think I said it enough."
The burial was quiet, Charlie fought to keep himself composed. Renee, the only exception, sobbed in her chair. Charlie didn't even look at her.
I said my goodbyes to Charlie just as he was about to head home for the wake. I told him I had a plane to catch, that I was only here as a trial run. He gave me a quick hug before nodding silently and getting into his cruiser. I told him to take care of himself and he frowned at me. I slammed my hand on top of the cruiser twice, signaling him to head on home, and he drove off down the road. I went and sat down in one of the remaining chairs and watched the men cover the casket in dirt.
It was midnight, I had a shovel in my hands and I was knee deep into Bella's grave. The thought disturbed me. I dug faster. It didn't take me long, really, and when I hit the casket, I brushed off the excess dirt and yanked it open. All at once, I dropped my constraints on her mind and she bolted upright in the casket, taking in a long gasping breathing before letting her eyes follow my legs up to my face. She grinned wickedly up at me.
"How was your coma?"
"Lovely, thanks. Get me out of here." I extended my hand to her and hoisted her up from the casket, shutting it and pulling myself out from the grave. I began shoveling the dirt back on. Bella sat down on the ground a few feet away, watching me.
"How did Charlie take things?"
I told her. How could I not? She stared down at the ground for a long time, I shoveled slowly to give her time to think before I had to disturb her. She didn't cry, but that could be due to her sudden change in her state of being. She wouldn't feel right for a few weeks at least.
"Can we go home, now?" I looked up at her and shoveled the last few heaps of dirt in quickly, nodding.
"Sure, Bell. Sure." I dusted my hands off and returned the shovel to the maintenance shed. I walked back to her and reached out for her hand. She took it comfortably and followed me towards the woods on the far side of the graveyard. I'd stashed her duffle bag here, knowing we'd be leaving from this area anyway. I scooped her duffle bag up and strapped it over my chest, turning around completely to face her, dropping her hand.
"Care for a run, Swan?" Her face erupted into an excited grin and she chuckled.
"You're on, tiger."
She was feisty. It was cuter than anything I'd ever seen in my life.
Needless to say, that was saying something.