She was in Illinois now. Chicago. Some teen had been hitting on her in the cafe she was in and she decided to humor him. She led him out the back into an alley and smiled at him. The boy seemed to take that as an invitation and leaned in to kiss her.
Renesmee rolled her eyes and pushed him back against the wall before he could touch her. The boy laughed.
"You like control, yeah? No arguments here."
"Shut up," Renesmee commanded sharply, something other than lustful curiosity swimming in her eyes. Renesmee put one hand against the boys face and watched his eyes screw up in pleasure. She was projecting emotions into him. Making him feel what it felt to be in love with someone and be close to them. What it felt like to talk for hours with someone in their arms… the pure unadulterated bliss of seeing them again after they were in danger and you weren't sure if they would ever come back alive.
Renesmee watched as the boy peeked his eyes open to stare at her. She wasn't smiling. Not really, she was concentrating on the way this boy reacted to such strong emotions invading him. Had he ever felt these emotions for himself? Renesmee wondered what it was like to never feel so profoundly about someone and had a hard time imagining it. She'd had Jacob from nearly the moment she was born. No, she never knew what it was like to never have love that strong.
She watched the boy's face as she changed the emotion. As she broke his heart. She poured the feelings she'd felt after Jacob had died into him. What it felt like to lose someone whom she held so dearly. Someone she had literally never known a life without. Jacob; her only love. Dead. She could feel the tears in her eyes but she refused to let them fall. She projected into this boy what it felt like to be betrayed by someone vital in your life. What it felt like to never be good enough for your parents. What it felt like to be hunted by an entire clan of evil beings of blood sucking proportions for something you could never control. She filled him with the physical pain of having bones broken one by one by rogue vampires who thought you were worth less than human.
The boy was crying, he was shaking, wracking with sobs so bare and hurt and yet still, Renesmee didn't feel like he could understand all she'd been through. It didn't matter that this boy sounded like he was on the verge of killing himself with grief. He could never understand. Because he was human and didn't even have the same capacity for emotion that Renesmee did. Love destroyed, soul fragmented with the loss of her other half. Literally bound on a level unattainable unless you were somewhat supernatural in nature. Destroyed. Betrayed. She couldn't trust her mother anymore. Couldn't rely on her father, and was left in the world entirely alone and a shell of herself without Jacob there.
No, this human could never understand. She let her hand drop from his face and the boy crumpled to the floor in the alley, gut wrenching, oscar winning, soul deep agony crawling out of his core being in dreadful tones of despair ripping out of his lips. He was saying names, pleading loved ones to come back, to love him again, to look at him for once. His eyes were glazed and frantic as he looked around wildly at random moments pleading with death to take him or for his family to find him and release him of the pain.
Renesmee stood over him with a careful air. "I'll love you," she told him. And she was lying, true, but she didn't tell him that. She held out a hand, crouched down and brushed his hair out of his face.
"I'll keep you safe," she murmured to him. She filled him with peace as she rested her hand against his cheek.
His eyes cleared slightly and he looked into her eyes with so much pain… Renesmee found his misery comforting, even if she believed it could never compare to her own pain. "Me?" he asked in a whisper. He no longer believed in himself. His self-esteem had been crushed moments after he came into contact with Renesmee.
"Yes, you. Sebastian, I would never let you be alone," and as she spoke those words, Renesmee filled his mind with fake, fabricated memories of himself being Sebastian (Renesmee didn't care what his name was before, she would call him whatever she damn well pleased and she would make him believe that was all he ever was). She fed his subconscious an entire life story with being abandoned by parents, left to live on the street, never being loved… the boy's eyes clouded over as his life was rewritten for him. Renesmee built the story into his mind where she felt no blockage. His mind was truly easy to hack into, he'd never been one to keep secrets, Renesmee supposed. Some people were harder to do this to, because they more actively practiced lying and deception… but this boy… he was an open book. And Renesmee had a tub of white-out and an entire box of brand new Sharpies.
Renesmee made Sebastian believe he had lived weeks, months, years by Renesmee's side. She made him feel like every moment he had spent away from her had been like he had been dying inside. Every moment not with her had been like not breathing, drowning in the ocean, a physical pain in his chest so strong it brought him to his knees if she wasn't near. If she didn't text or if he didn't hear her voice. And when the boy's eyes finally cleared and he looked up from where he was still on the ground and saw who he knew to be the one most important thing in all of his life he cried out and stretched his arms out to touch her face.
But Renesmee had other plans. She simply smiled and backed out of his reach. The peace he had been feeling suddenly left the boy and he was left cold.
"Wha…" He couldn't articulate his confusion and hurt. Renesmee just smiled (though it didn't reach her eyes, it never did anymore) and shook her head.
"We're through, Sebastian. I can't be with you anymore. I have more important things to do than waste my time with the likes of… you." She stood up entirely, standing over the boy still in the dark alley and started to retreat. He called after her in despair, desperation, need and tried to follow her. But she was already gone. Already moved on to her next victim. This one she wouldn't use emotions to kill. No, she wanted to try something new next time. But in the meantime the boy, who as far as he was concerned was a twenty year old named Sebastian Price from Canton, Ohio chased after a girl he couldn't even recall the name or face of anymore (Renesmee never showed her face in his implanted memories afterall). And he wept like a child until he finally couldn't bare the emotions and collapsed on a bench somewhere in a sleep so deep he probably wouldn't wake for hours. And when he did, he was going to need a lot of therapy. Or a gun, he supposed in his last moments of consciousness. Because then he could just end all the pain himself and it would be over.
When "Sebastian"'s twin sister, Alicia, was contacted about her missing brother being found three days later in the hospital with no recollection of anyone in the family or of any of his life, only delusions of being "Sebastian" all of his family cried too.
"Joe, come on, you have to remember me! You're my best friend!" And it wasn't a lie, but it didn't matter. Joe wasn't Joe anymore. Never had been as far as he knew.
Renesmee watched on from a distance, having followed the boy to see what would become of him. She only wished she too could forget all of who and what she was. She wished she could have been someone else without the burden of her memories following her.
But she was still Renesmee. Still a Cullen. She couldn't call herself a Black anymore. Jacob left her. Died on her. He promised he would never die. They only had twenty years together. That wasn't fair. And even if she hated all of her family for their endless loves as well, she knew a Cullen was the best description she had left of who she was. But even that felt bitter. No, she was just Renesmee. She was Renesmee alone, a survivor and a killer… she definitely had problems. Definitely needed help.
But she didn't care. Instead she only smiled as Alicia mourned and cried at the loss of her brother. "Joe" as he were, was dead. In his place was a stranger.
The whole world seemed to be filled with strangers these days.