Bella, his voice was like the most beautiful bells. Wake up, Bella. His smell was the sweetest fragrance. Love, open your eyes, he whispered as he held my face, beckoning me to awaken and gaze upon his marvelous eyes that captivated me every time they entranced me. I followed his command, and opened my eyes to see-
Nothing. Nothing that was worth anything to me. A light. A light too bright, that it bothered my eyes, and I needed to shut them. I needed too, but was afraid that, if I did, I would see him again. His angelic face that my mind could never perfect in its cheap imitations. They never did him the smallest measure of justice.
I heard hushed voices from the other side of the room, and my breathing sped, only for it to be blown out by a sharp memory. It hurt me more than a piece of broken glass plunging into my lungs, or fire burning on my bare skin. It was of an empty area in the forest that used to hold the most precious thing to me. But when we got there, too late, it was empty.
As much as I tried to hold it in, a cry of unbearable pain escaped from my lungs, and the talking ceased. There was suddenly a warm hand on my forehead and I realized I had closed my eyes again. I forced them open before I saw him.
"Alice?" I squeaked. She smiled the tiniest bit before it was washed away by sadness. But something didn't make sense.
"Alice, you're warm." A pathetic laugh came from her frown.
"Bella, you are freezing."
"Oh." It was silent as Alice sat down next to me on the couch. She looked at Carlisle warily when he sat cross-legged on the white carpet, not meeting my eyes. I looked down at the defined threads of polyester crisscrossing to make up the soft rug. After a few minutes of quiet I spoke.
"Is he...?" Carlisle peered into my eyes, trying not to read my hopeful expression.
"No," his voice cracked. I couldn't imagine that he was more heartbroken than I was, but he was surely acting like it.
"Oh," I whispered. I couldn't say anymore. My voice wasn't operating correctly. My entire body ached like I had just been hit with a ten ton tractor trailer. I hadn't felt this way ever since I had been changed. And this pain was so much worse, more than a million times worse than when he had left me. Before, I had known there was nothing I could do about it. It was his decision. But now, when I understood that this could have been prevented, my entire body was hollow. He had no choice. His free will had been stolen from him. Who knows what they could be doing to him? Who knows it he was still even....
"No," I cried and buried my eyes in my hands, sobbing into the plush pillow my head was laying on. I felt Alice lay down on my legs, her body heaving just as heavily as mine.
When our sobbing turned into whimpers, Carlisle put his comforting hand on my shoulder.
"I know how you feel, Bella. We all-" he paused to take a deep, ragged breath. "We all feel the same way. But there's something else." I felt another shot to my stomach, and I curled my arms around my legs to lessen the pain. There was more?
"Carlisle," Alice whispered. "I don't think she can take it. Maybe now isn't-"
"No," I said forcefully, looking Carlisle straight in the eye. Nothing could be worse than what I had just gone through.
"I want to know." Carlisle appraised me with his eyes, then continued.
"Your father is also missing." I went numb. I didn't break down crying, but I couldn't feel anything either. Not my hands, my mind, my emotions. I had no idea what Carlisle was seeing in me right now. No, I felt nothing.
I began to defrost in the next hour. Carlisle and Alice had left me alone, which was probably smart of them. I began to have control over my body. Which also meant I had control over my feelings. But I still broke down with the weight of the pain and shock. My husband. My father. Both were gone. Gone. And I would never see them again.
The darkness crept back, slowly enveloping me.
No, Bella. Don't give up hope! My eyes snapped open. I looked around cautiously. What had I just heard? I sat up, my muscles sore, my hands in my lap.
Bella, can you hear me? Please, keep believing.
Bella? I gulped. The voice in my mind now wasn't Edward's. It was someone else's. It was deeper, and jagged. It was a voice I instantly recognized, yet it still frightened. Now I really could believe that I was insane.
It was my Father's voice.