New Moon: EPOV
New Moon and all characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
I was going to have to leave. We all were. As much as the thought pained me, I knew I had no other options.
After what happened at Bella's birthday, I knew I couldn't put her in that kind of danger ever again.
Those next few days were torturous. At school, I had to pretend to be distant. I even offered to help Newton fix his car. I thought about what I would do without Bella. Being away from her was going to be unbearable.
The rest of my family had already left. They were going to spend time with Tanya's family in Denali. I, however, was going to go my own way. There was no way I would be able to be around them after what I was going to do to Bella. I couldn't deal with Esme's worry and mothering, or Carlisle's understanding. I didn't want to have to deal with any of them trying to comfort me. I just wanted to be on my own.
The next day after school, I walked Bella to her truck.
"Do you mind if I come over today," I asked.
"Of course not," Bella replied. She already looked confused.
"Now?" I wanted to get this over with.
"Sure. I was just going to drop a letter for Renee in the mailbox on the way. I'll meet you there."
I peeked in through her truck door, and sure enough, there sat a fat envelope on the passenger's seat. I leaned in and picked it up.
"I'll do it. And I'll still beat you there." I tried to smile knowing that it was the last one she would see.
"Okay," she said, still looking confused.
She got in her truck. I shut the door and headed toward the direction of my car.
I had dropped off Bella's letter and was headed over to her house. The whole way there, I carefully planned what I would say. I had to say just the right thing if I wanted her to believe me.
When Bella pulled into the driveway, I was already there, as promised. I had pulled into Charlie's spot, knowing that I would be gone before he returned home.
I got out of my car when she did. I walked over to her and took her bag, placing it back on the seat of the truck.
"Come for a walk with me," I said, trying very hard to keep out any emotion from my voice. I took her hand in mine, feeling her gentle warmth on my palm one last time as we walked toward the forest.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that Bella was thinking very hard about what was going to happen in our up-coming conversation. It was times like these when I really wished I could read her mind.
A couple feet into the forest, I stopped, dropping Bella's hand. I leaned against a nearby tree and looked at her.
"Okay, let's talk," she said. I knew she was trying to keep her voice steady.
I took a deep breath, and I slowly felt the pain creep into me.
"Bella, we're leaving."
She seemed to sigh and steady herself.
"Why now? Another year- "
"Bella, it's time. How much longer could we stay in Forks, after all? Carlisle can barely pass for thirty, and he's claiming thirty-three now. We'd have to start over soon regardless."
The confusion was back again. Now there was a little crease in her brow, and I wanted so badly to smooth it out with my finger and pull her into my arms. But I couldn't do that. I'd already started, and now I had to finish.
I stared at her while she continued to think. Slowly, the confusion cleared, and the realization of what I had meant became visible on her face.
When you say we-"she whispered softly.
"I mean my family and myself." I tried to make my voice cold and harsh. It would be easier that way.
She began to shake her head. She seemed to be letting that sink in.
"Okay," she said. "I'll come with you."
"You can't, Bella. Where we're going…It's not the place for you." We were leaving so she didn't have to be around vampires. If she was going to leave with us, we might as well stay in Forks.
"Where you are is the right place for me."
"I'm no good for you, Bella." How true that was.
"Don't be ridiculous. You're the very best part of my life." Now she was being ridiculous.
"My world is not for you," I said darkly.
"What happened with Jasper- that was nothing, Edward! Nothing!" She was starting to get angry, and that made it somewhat easier to be hurting her like that.
"You're right. It was exactly what was to be expected."
"You promised! In Phoenix, you promised that you would stay-"
"As long as that was what was best for you," I corrected.
"No! This is about my soul, isn't it?" She was shouting now. I had once thought of her anger as amusing; it was like a kitten getting mad at a lion. This, however, was nowhere near funny.
"Carlisle told me about that, and I don't care, Edward! I don't care! You can have my soul! I don't want it without you- it's yours already!"
I looked down at the ground so she wouldn't see the pain in my face. I knew what I had to do.
"Bella, I don't want you to come with me."
She stood there completely frozen, absorbing what I had just said. But, there was no way she could believe me. After I'd told her so many times that I loved her, how could she?
"You…don't…want me?" How could I not?
"No." I felt like my heart was ripping in two.
She stared into my eyes, searching. I stared back, struggling to keep my face unemotional and unapologetic.
"Well that changes things," she said.
What? How could she possibly have believed me? And so quickly? How could she possibly believe that I didn't want her? What was she thinking?
I couldn't bear to look at her face. It hurt too much, so instead, I looked into the trees.
"Of course, I'll always love you…in a way. But what happened the other night made me realize that it's time for a change. Because I'm…tired of pretending to be something I'm not, Bella. I am not human." I looked back to Bella. "I've let this go on much too long, and I'm sorry for that." That also was a lie. As wrong as it was, I wasn't sorry for any of the time I had spent with Bella.
"Don't. Don't do this," she whispered so softly.
Couldn't she tell that I didn't want to be doing this? That it was hurting me just as much as it was hurting her? I still didn't understand why she had believed me so fast.
"You're not good for me, Bella." So many lies. There was nothing that could compete with how wonderful Bella was.
If…that's what you want." She said it so quietly and softly.
I nodded my head once. I couldn't do anything else, for fear that I would show any emotion.
I hated myself for this. I was a terrible person, no creature, for putting her through this.
What would she do once I was gone? Bella got hurt enough with me there. Without a protector, who knew what would happen to her? That had me worried, but I decided that I was still a much greater threat.
"I would like to ask one favor though, if that's not too much." There was one thing that I needed from her.
"Anything," she said.
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid." I couldn't help but put a tiny bit of feeling into this. It was so important that she promised to keep herself safe. "Do you understand what I'm saying?"
She simply nodded, but that was enough for me. I trusted Bella.
"I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take of yourself for him."
I waited tensely for her rebuttal, but it didn't come. Bella wasn't like that.
"I will," she whispered, and I could breathe again.
"And I'll make you a promise in return. I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I won't come back. I won't put you through anything like this again. You can go with your life without anymore interference from me. It will be as if I'd never existed."
Her heart started to slowly accelerate. I saw a little bead of sweat form on her temple. She was shaking.
I smiled and said, "Don't worry. You're human. Your memory is no more than a sieve. Time heals all wounds for your kind."
"And your memories?" She choked out the words.
"Well…I won't forget. But my kind… we're very easily distracted." I would never forget Bella. I had every little detail of her ingrained into my mind.
I smiled again; a fake smile once again. I took a step back.
"That's everything, I suppose. We won't bother you again."
She looked surprised for a second before saying, "Alice isn't coming back." She said it like a statement, not a question.
I shook my head. It felt heavy on my shoulders.
"No, they're all gone. I stayed behind to tell you goodbye."
"Alice is gone?" This was a question, almost as if she didn't quite believe me.
"She wanted to say goodbye, but I convinced her that a clean break would be better for you."
Back in Phoenix last spring, after that loathsome creature, James, got Bella, the doctor had been showing Bella the breaks in her bones. He called the breaks clean breaks and described to her how it would be easier and faster with the healing process.
"Goodbye, Bella," I tried to say it calmly, but it was so hard.
"Wait!" She cried out, her arms outstretched toward me.
I grabbed her wrists, holding her arms to her sides. I leaned forward and touched my lips ever so gently to her forehead one last time. She closed her eyes; her heart stuttered.
"Take care of yourself," I said, but in my mind, I added, for me.
I turned around, and I ran away from my love forever.
Turning away from Bella like that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, second only to having to suck the venom of James' bite out of Bella's hand last spring. It seemed as thought I had only just found the one thing I had been waiting for all these years, only to have to give her up all over again. I was being punished. Being the horrible creature that I am, I wasn't allowed to have that kind of happiness.
As I ran back to Bella's house, I thought about where I would go and what I would possibly do when I got there.
I already knew I wouldn't be going to the Denali. I had thought of another reason to oppose that option. Tanya.
Tanya was the leader of the Denali clan. When we had first met Tanya's family, she had certainly showed a liking for me. I had to gently decline her offer. Now, however, was not a time I wanted to spend around her. She wouldn't understand, and she could be awfully pushy at times.
As I continued to think, my mind would drift to Bella; I thought of our past and all we had been through together. I thought of our trip to our meadow and how, despite the fact that I had to be guarded of my animalistic tendencies, I had felt so free to be able to tell Bella everything about myself and what I am. Though I could sense that at times she had been slightly frightened, she openly listened. And, she wasn't repulsed, but rather amazed.
Then, I had brought her to my house to meet my family. And by doing so, I had accepted her into my life completely.
Next thing I knew, I was inviting her to play baseball with me and my family. I had to admit, I had shown off a bit just for her.
But then things started to go wrong. The other vampires showed up. When the leader, James, realized that Bella was human, he was immediately one hundred percent committed to destroying her. It hurt just to think about how I had almost been too late to save her.
It was on that thought that I knew how I was going to spend my time away from Bella. I was going to track down Victoria, James' mate, and I was going to kill her. I would do it for Bella, so that maybe, one less vampire out there would have the chance to kill her.
I had arrived at Bella's house. Charlie was still not home. I had about ten minutes until he would come home wondering where Bella was.
The first thing I did was write a quick note to Charlie from Bella, explaining where he could find her. Almost exactly identical to her handwriting, I wrote:
Going for a walk with Edward, up the path.
With that done, I ran up the stairs to Bella's small room. I would stay focused and not think about where I was at the moment. I walked over to Bella's CD player, opened it, and took out the CD that I had given to her for her birthday. I put it in its case and set it on the bed. I walked to the foot of the bed. On the floor sat the picture album from Renee. I opened it as well and emptied it of the pictures. I set those on the bed as well. Then I walked to her desk and grabbed the envelope from my parents. It contained two tickets, one for her and one for me, to visit Renee in Florida.
I took anything that would remind her of me. It would be as I'd said- like I'd never existed.
But then, I am a selfish creature, and that part of me wanted to leave something of myself with Bella. So, I took the things off her bed, carefully pulled up one of the floorboards, and placed the memories inside, before gently putting the board back in place.
I turned and took one last look at the room of the girl that I would never see again. Then, as I had done so many times before, and never would again, I opened Bella's window and jumped out of it into the night.