I was totally unprepared for what I was about to face. How could I leave my one true love alone so fragile and unprotected, but surly she could stay out of harms way without the vampires in town. I knew that it would be a while before she actually hinted that I was leaving and I knew that she would cling with every thread of hope. But this was for the best, I think.
I pulled into Charlies spot not wanting to look at the empty house so I spent the few minutes it took for Bella's truck to come billowing around the corner, with my love.
Holding her warm hand, I was so attuned to her that I could even hear her heart thump around unevenly at my very touch. I imagined the blood rush to her soft cheek and I even tasted her scent a deep freesia on my tongue.
I stepped out to meet her and saw her wary expression watching me. So I took her book bag and lightly threw it in the small cab.
She looked at me with the strangest expression on her face now like she knew what was to come but also a confused look. I saw questions in her eyes but ignored them.
"Come for a walk with me."
My voice was hard as stone with no emotion whatsoever, but what I was about to do was not exactly cause for celebration. I tried to hide my emotions as best as possible so as not to worry her more, but it was difficult and I hoped she didn't see what slipped through.
I pulled her along through the yard and onto the trail when we stopped the house was still in view.
I stared at her trying to memorize her face. It took all my self control not to stretch my hand out and stroke her warm cheek but this was going to be hard enough.
"Okay lets talk" she said.
I took a deep, long breath to prepare myself for what was to come.
"Bella, we're leaving."
She appeared as if she were preparing for a war, a long war. But in the end I would win. But instead of getting a gold metal I get my destiny taken away from me.
"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."
She stared at me her expression confused, then it became understanding.
"When you say we-," she whispered.
"I mean my family and myself."
I would never forgive myself for this, not if I lived for a million years. I would never forget leaving my Bella and I realized she might not either.
"Okay I'll come with you."
"You can't Bella. Where we're going...It's not the right place for you.
"Where you are is the right place for me."
"I'm no good for you Bella."
"Don't be ridiculous, you're the very best part of my life."
"My world is not for you."
I remembered the day she almost got squished in between a truck and van. I thought that this was to keep her safe but what if I had never came into her life. What if it was her deathbed right then and there. What if she needed me?
"What happened with Jasper that was nothing, Edward, nothing!"
Her cry of pain brought me out of my reverie.
"You're right," I agreed.
"It was exactly what was to be expected."
"You promised, in Phoenix, you promised that you would say-"
"As long as that was best for you," I corrected.
"No! This is about my soul isn't it?"
Of course this was about her soul. I remembered seeing my Bella in Alice's head cold, hard as stone standing there with hard red eyes. Taking away a future, a family it wasn't right. If you truly loved someone wouldn't you want them to be happy, to have everything including a soul?
"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 cold forest floor and tried to make my face look hard and cold to.
I finally looked up and said the words I had been dreading. For I knew that when I said them she would never forgive me even if one day I did come back and pleaded her forgiveness. Never.
"Bella, I don't want you to come with me."
I stared at her face, knowing that what I saw there would cause me the most pain.
She paused and I knew I had broken her.
I wanted to shout out at her, it's a lye Bella, honey a complete lye never could I exist without you but instead I answered.
She stared into my eyes trying to look for any glitch in my expression, no doubt. But there was none to look for, none that she could see anyway.
"Well, that changes things."
I looked away into the trees.
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 and I'm sorry for that."
"Don't, she whispered, don't do this.
I just stared at her.
"You're no good for me Bella."
It would never be true no matter how many times I spoke it, thought it or even heard it.
She looked as if she was deciding what to say.
"If... that's what you want."
I thought I had successfully mastered lying but I guess love changes things, even the will to speak. So I nodded my head once.
There was a short pause and she appeared as if she were going to fall over.
"I would like to ask one favor, though, if that's not too much."
I saw the pain and sorrow and the true promise that I knew she would do anything for me and some of my expression slipped through.
I composed my face quickly, I didn't want her thinking to much about me. I knew there was a very slim chance of that but nothing impossible I learned that the hard way. I probably could just go curl up in a corner somewhere for the next decade.
"Anything," she promised.
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid, do you understand what I'm saying?"
"I'm thinking of Charlie of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself- for him."
But it wasn't all for Charlies sake if Bella died while I wasn't there to protect her I have only one idea of what I would do.
She nodded and whispered.
"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 on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I'd never existed."
Her heart thumped faster and I gently smiled down at her.
"Don't worry, you're human your memory is no more than a sieve. Time heals all wounds for your kind.
"And your memories?"
"Well"- "I won't forget. But my kind we're easily distracted."
I gently smiled again.
I forced my foot to step back and there was no greater pain then doing so.
"We won't bother you again," I said.
She looked confuse which I found odd, then I remembered she hadn't know that Alice left.
"Alice isn't coming back," she whispered.
I shook my head while still watching her face.
"No, they're all gone. I stayed behind to tell you goodbye.
"Alice is gone? She asked in disbelief.
"She wanted to say goodbye, but I convinced her that a clean break would be better for you."
I hoped are efforts amounted to something. I wouldn't want her to ever have to think about this again.
She reached for me and I locked my hands around her warm wrists and pinned them to her sides. I pressed my lips lightly to her forehead and she closed her eyes.
"Take care of yourself."
She never reopened her eyes and I left running.
15 minutes later
I was in Canada before I even began thinking again so I stopped in a field and gazed at the sky. As I lie on the damp grass. All of a sudden a shooting star shot through the sky and when it was gone I closed my eyes and saw Bella behind my lids.