NEVER OR FOREVER
"You're really coming?"
"How come?" I asked, still not believing that he was coming home.
My husband Edward had been away on business for the last 6 months. I hadn't seen him since the day he'd left. And because of his hectic schedule, not to mention the time difference between China and USA, we'd seldom talked during the whole time. So it was quite unbelievable to me that he was truly, finally coming home.
"Baby, I told you remember that I'd be done within a week?" Edward's voice came over the phone.
"Yeah, but you said that 2 weeks ago," I reminded him. "And weeks before that, and weeks before that, and we…"
"Ok! Ok! I get it. But this time no joke. I'm really coming home. I'm already at the airport and about to board the flight. Bella, I'm coming home."
"I can't wait to see you."
"Nor I you. But I gotta go now, they're making the announcements," he said.
"Alright take care of yourself, I love you," I said, not wanting to hang up, but knowing that I have to.
"And I love you. See you in one and a half days."
And with that he hung up. Little did I know that that would be the last time that I'd talk to him.
Edward was supposed to arrive in the evening around 7. I'd wanted to go to the airport to receive him. But he didn't like the idea of me driving all the way from Forks to Seattle alone. So he made me promise not to go.
"Besides," he had said, "my car's still in the airport parking lot. I'll drive home. Don't worry. You know I don't have jet-lag issues."
I waited patiently up to 11 o'clock at night for him to come. I told myself maybe the flight got delayed or some thing. But as the clock hands neared midnight, I got more and more worried. I called him several times: no reply. Then my paranoia got the better of me and I started calling Ed's sister Alice, my sister Rosalie and finally Ed's best friend, and a cop, Jacob Black. Neither Alice nor Rose had had any contact with him lately, let alone today. Calling Jacob was a bust, because the first time I called him he didn't answer.
I was about to call Jacob again, when the doorbell rang. It was 1:30 in the night. The only person who could be ringing the door bell this late could be none other than my Edward. Thinking this, I practically flew downstairs and wrenched open the door.
It wasn't him. There were two police officers standing there. One of them was Jacob, tall tanned and looking extremely agitated, the other was Sam Uley, a big, burly, intimidating-looking guy.
Before I could say anything, Jacob spoke, "Bella, we need to talk. Can we come in?"
I didn't move from where I was standing; a terrible sense of foreboding had come over me.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Bell…" Jacob began.
"No, tell me now," I demanded.
Jacob didn't respond, only kept staring at his feet. So Officer Uley took over. He was huge, taller than even Jacob, and that's saying something because Jacob's well over six feet. Officer Uley had a deep yet soothing voice and kind eyes.
"Mrs. Cullen, when was the last time you spoke to your husband?" he asked.
"Two days ago, when he was boarding a flight from China to come back home. Why?" my apprehension was growing with every word.
"Ma'am, what car does your husband drive?" he continued.
"A silver Volvo." O God, what had happened?
Officer Uley opened his notepad and held it up for me to see. "Is this the license plate number?"
"Yes. Will someone please tell me what's going on? What is all this? Where's Edward?" I snapped, looking from one to the other, now more than panicking.
Officer Uley looked at Jacob but he didn't lift his head. So latter continued, "I'm sorry to tell you this ma'am but there's been an accident, and your husband's car seems to have been involved in it."
I couldn't believe this was happening. In just a few minutes, my world had gone from picture perfect to a pile of smoldering ruins. I couldn't think; I don't even know how I was still standing. I focused on the flashing red and blue lights of the police car; it was all I could do to stay conscious.
"What do you mean 'seems to have been involved'?" I somehow managed.
Finally Jacob spoke, "About an hour ago, highway patrol call in a frontal collision on the Seattle-Forks road. A silver Volvo and a VW van. When we got there we saw that both cars had rolled into the ditch on the side of the road."
Jacob paused. I didn't say anything, just kept looking at the red-blue lights.
"We're still working on getting the cars out of the ditch," he paused again. "Bella, I…" he didn't continue. I finally looked at him. He was looking down again; tears were rolling down his cheeks. So I turned to Officer Uley.
"Do you have any idea when this happened?" I asked. Uley was taken aback by my calmness. Hell, even I was amazed at the sound of my voice, it sounded so distant and cold.
"Highway patrol thinks it may have happened 3 maybe 4 hours before they called it in," came the reply. "Mrs. Cullen, you ne…"
"Need to prepare myself because you're not hopeful about survivors. I get it," I finished for him. "Please don't say 'I'm sorry for your loss'. Wrong thing to say right now," my voice was getting steelier and steelier with every word. I was getting afraid of the sound of my own voice.
Jacob opened his mouth to say something, but I cut him off with a shake of my head.
"I need to be alone right now," I practically whispered, not trusting the monstrous sound that may come out at proper volume. "Please."
"We'll keep you posted," Officer Uley said nodding. With that he turned to go pulling Jacob after him.
I closed the door, but didn't move from there. I just didn't know, couldn't figure out what to do next.