Chapter 8

Chapter 7 summary:  Bella, Charlie, and Randy discover the gruesome crime scene at the cabin and call the authorities.  After the police have questioned them and taken the evidence, Charlie and Bella pack up some of the Masens' belongings to take back to Phoenix.  Before they leave the cabin, Bella gets an unsettling feeling - as if she's being watched - but shrugs it off.  On the highway back to Phoenix, Charlie and Bella are quiet, both lost in their own heads, when Charlie shouts and BANG! the car swerves to the shoulder of the road and comes to a sudden stop...
Chapter 8 playlist selection:  Home by Michael Bublé 

Bella POV
"God, damn it!" Charlie yells as he slams the car door after inspecting the tire. "That tree limb tore the tire to shreds."  He waves his hand toward the crushed wood on the highway behind us, shaking his head in frustration.
I lean across the center console of the car, peering at him through the driver's side window.  "Sorry, Dad. I didn't even notice it in the road."
"I didn't either, Bells.  It appeared out of nowhere!"  Still shaking his head and glowering at the debris, he makes his way to the metal storage bin in the bed of his pick-up truck.  I twist around in the passenger seat, watching as he unlocks the compartment, retrieves a jack, tire iron, battery operated spotlight, and two road flares.  Officer Swan - always prepared for emergencies.
"Need any help?" 
He rolls his eyes and scoffs at my offer, knowing I'd be useless instead of helpful. "Why don't you go sit over by that boulder - out of the way." He points to an outcropping of rocks near the tree line, away from the shoulder of the road.  "I'll only be a minute or two, and then we'll be back in business."
"I'll just wait in the truck instead."
"It's too dangerous to sit in a parked vehicle on the side of the highway with cars flying by you at eighty miles per hour." 
I glance in both directions, assessing the amount of traffic on the highway at this time of night.  Nothing.  Not one fucking car in sight.  We haven't passed anyone for several miles.  I decide not to give him any shit right now, not wanting to argue.  We'd already had one hell of a night.  I turn and walk through the gravel toward the pile of rocks and sit on top of a large, level boulder.
Charlie ignites the road flares and situates the spotlight before he sinks to the ground and proceeds with changing the tire.  I keep a watchful eye for any sudden, rush-hour traffic whizzing by us on this desolate stretch of highway at one-thirty in the morning.  Still nothing.  As he is replacing the lug nuts, I hear a twig snap just beyond the trees behind me.  An uncomfortable chill rushes down my spine, and I feel the tiny hairs on the back of my neck raise in alarm.
A faint murmur echoes from somewhere in the forest, and I whip my head around, nervously searching for the owner of that bone-chilling voice. An involuntary shiver runs through my body and I am overcome with the urge to run.  
"Hello?" I whisper toward the forest, my heart pounding furiously in my chest. "Who's there?"
"Okay, Bells!  Tire's changed. Let's get a move on!" Charlie calls to me as he dusts off his jeans and tosses his equipment back into the metal bin.
I make one last glance at the dark woods along the roadside, but I don't see or hear anything more.  The creepy sensation is still lingering, so I quickly hop off the rock and dart toward the truck, climb into the passenger seat, and lock my door.  Charlie looks at me questioningly, but I just shake my head and stare at the floorboards.  He reaches over and squeezes my hand gently for a moment before twisting the key in the ignition and putting the truck into gear.
"Let's get out of here. Alright?" 
I nod, let loose a deep sigh, and rest my head against the window, closing my eyes for a second or two...
"Sweetheart, we're home," Charlie says softly as he rubs my left arm. "Wake up."
I open my eyes, blinking a few times to help get my bearings.  Recognizing the neighborhood park at the entrance to our road, my eyes begin to fill with tears as we make a right onto our street, and are greeted by the cheery, colorful mailboxes that line the left side of the drive.  The Barkers.  The Dunlaps.  The Knights.  The Masens.  
A sob erupts from me as we approach their house - dark and empty.  Elizabeth's flower garden is in full bloom, vibrant Verbena and Salvia sprinkling life throughout the desert landscape. Ed Senior's patrol car and Edward's truck sit in their driveway, abandoned. And Renee on their porch...
Wait!  Mom?
"Ah, shit, Renee," Charlie mutters to himself.  He shifts nervously in the driver's seat as he pulls into our driveway two houses down.  Releasing a deep, sad sigh, he admits, "I didn't get ahold of your mother earlier. The call went to the answering machine.  She doesn't know yet."  His pained eyes look into my shocked ones, and I am immediately unsure if I'm going to be able to handle this confrontation tonight.  I thought he had softened the blow earlier when he was on the cell phone, but apparently not.  This is going to be horrible.
"Charlie!"  Renee yells through the night, sprinting from the Masens' yard toward our house, and meeting us in the driveway. "So? What happened? Why didn't you call when you got on the road?  I was so worr-"
Charlie interrupts, trying to usher my mother into the garage, "Renee, let's go insi-"  
She continues, "I fell asleep watching reruns of Seinfeld, and the next thing I know, I'm awakened by flashing lights and car doors slamming.  I peeked through the windows and saw three cop cars pull out of Liz and Ed's driveway!"
"I know, honey. C'mon, let's go-," he tries again, guiding her toward the kitchen door.
"So then I run out the door, trying to wave down the officers, but they were already at the end of the street and didn't see me.  I walked over the Liz and Ed's house, trying to peek into the windows, but I couldn't see anything this time of night.  Ed should really invest in those sensor flood lights, because they real-" 
My mom shuts up at the sudden sharp tone of my father's voice and looks up at him with furrowed brows.  Charlie escorts her inside, practically manhandling her like a prisoner. 
I stay behind, not wanting to follow my parents into the house as my dad rehashes all the details of our evening. 
I suddenly feel awkward standing in the middle of the garage, as if I don't belong here, in this house.  Not that I feel unwelcome, but that it's not where I belong.  It's a strange feeling, confusing, especially since I grew up in this house.  This is the only home I've ever known, but I feel it holds nothing for me anymore. 
Home is where your heart is, they say.  Edward is, or was, my heart, but if he's no longer with me in this world, then where does that leave me?  Homeless?  The closest I could come to being "at home" would be wherever Edward is, but since there is no way I'm going to kill myself, I'm left with only one other option to be as close to him -to home- as possible.  The Masen House. 
Through the screen door of the kitchen, I see Renee crying, her loud wails pouring into the silent night air.  Watching my mother break down from the news, I let my own tears fall as I see my father hugging her tightly and offering soft apologies like he did for me earlier tonight.  I lean back against the front of my mother's car, burying my face in my hands as my body shakes from the turmoil and sadness that's running its course through me.  
After a moment or two, my mother barrels out of the screen door and clutches me in her arms.  She's bawling, soaking my already damp shirt with her tears.  I grab onto her tightly, hoping her embrace will wash the pain away, but it's no use.  Her whispers of condolences pass over me, doing nothing to soothe my heartache.  There's only one person that will douse the flames of that, and he is rotting away in a morgue somewhere.
Charlie tries to corral us back into the house, our cries getting louder by the second. "C'mon, ladies. Let's get inside."
"No. I'm not going," I rasp, weakly pushing my father's arms away.
"Bella, baby," Renee coos. "Your dad is right. C'mon inside." She wraps her arm around my shoulders, nudging me toward the kitchen door.
My father huffs in exasperation and leaves my mother to tend to my stubbornness alone in the garage. 
"You're home now, sweetie. You're safe." She sniffles and wipes her nose with the bottom of her tee-shirt. "Come inside and sit with me on the couch."   
"This... This isn't home for me anymore, Mom.  Edward is my home." Another round of sobs wrack through me, and once I contain my cries, I continue, "I need to be with Edward, Mom.  I'm going to the Masens."
Her eyes widen with fear and she reaches to grab onto my arms to keep me from running.  She probably assumes I'm going to off myself in Edward's bedroom or something else completely absurd.  "Bella? No. Don't..."
I plead with my eyes for her to understand.  When she shakes her head 'no', I resort to desperate begging, "Please, Mom. I want to go home."  My voice cracks on the last word, my chin quivering uncontrollably.
Charlie, thankfully, has been listening to us from the kitchen, and comes to calm my mother's worries. He pulls her against his chest, burying her face against his shoulder, and tells her that I just want to be alone with the memory of Edward.  He continues to whisper to her, reassuring her that he will check up on me every hour.  Charlie gives me a wink and slow head nod, indicating that's it's okay for me to go, and I turn to run toward the Masens' house.
I stagger across the lawns, my vision blurred from my tears, until I'm standing in front of Edward's truck in their driveway.  I grip my hands tightly onto the tailgate, using it to support my body so I can catch my breath.  I feel like the wind has been knocked out of my lungs, the weight of my emotions are starting to suffocate me.  I hold onto the edges of the truck as I make my way to the other side, closer to the front door of their house. 
As I reach the porch, I fumble for the keys that I put into my pocket before Charlie and I left for the cabin... Edward's keys.  I slip the silver key into the lock and push open the door.
Jesus, shit!  I forgot about the bird.
"Sorry, Carrumba," I mumble, closing the front door behind me.  Leaning against it, I take several deep breaths, attempting to wrangle my emotions.  It doesn't really help.  A large lung full of Elizabeth's favorite scented candle floats through the house, permeating it with memories of her. 
I wipe my face with my hand, exhale deeply, and push myself away from the door. Walking toward Carrumba's cage, I glance inside it to assess her food status.  There are a few beans and plenty of birdseed, so I decide to forego her dinner-time feeding - since it's nearly three in the morning - and replenish her bowls in the morning.  I yawn loudly, the constant plummet of events of this horrific day finally catching up with me. Turning toward the stairs, I toe off my shoes in the living room, strip my shorts from my body in the hallway, and climb up to Edward's bedroom in only my tee-shirt and underwear.
The emotional numbness that seems to come in waves has returned, and I glance around the room, resigned.  He's gone.  There's nothing that I can do to change that, but I refuse to let him go.  I know that at some point in my life I will have to move on.  He would have wanted me to be happy and have a family of my own.  But, that's unfathomable right now.  The pain in my heart is so new, so sharp, that I can't even begin to imagine my future without him.  He is a part of me, whether he's living or dead, and right now, my mind can't wrap around that fact.  It's too muddied with a constant war between denial and acceptance.
I slide between his soft jersey sheets, breathing in his familiar scent, and cry myself to sleep, clutching his pillow to my chest.
I spend most of the next morning in Edward's bed, fighting the tears that threaten to spill from my eyes over the devastating turn of events from last night.  I still don't know how I have any left in my body to cry out.  I toss and turn, trying to settle myself down enough to go back to sleep, but it's fruitless. 
My eyes begin to gaze around his bedroom.  His autographed team penant for the Diamondbacks is proudly nailed to the wall next to his closet and an oversized poster of some blonde bimbo leaning over the hood of a Porsche is taped to the back of his door.  Typical male. The shadow boxes that hang on his wall next to the bedroom door display his prized bug captures.  I flashback to four years ago, and to the brilliant smile on his face when he brought me into his room, pointing to his collection's newest addition.
"It's a Diplocentrus spitzeri, Bella." Edward looked from me back to the hideously large scorpion tacked to the back of the frame. "I've been searching for one of these babies for a while!"
I groan and flop over to face the window.  His bookcase is now in my line of sight, and the plethora of entomology journals and a framed picture of us at prom just twists the serrated knife in my heart a little bit more.  I squeeze my eyes shut and clench my jaw, willing the tears not to fall. The faint sound of a television catches my attention, and I reluctantly crawl out of bed and slip into some of Edward's pajama pants hanging from the footboard. 
The smell of fresh brewed coffee drifts up the stairs as I head down toward the living room.  There's no one on the couch, so I move through to the kitchen, again finding nobody. 
"Hello?" I call out into the empty space.
"Hey, honey.  I'm in here."
Charlie sticks his head out of the home office door and nods for me to come inside.  As I get to the doorway, I notice papers strewn about, file cabinet drawers open, and my father holding a thick file in his hands, thumbing through the documents inside.
"What are you doing in here, Dad?"
"Well, since the investigators were here last night, ransacking the place, I thought I would come and try to pick up a bit." 
I bend down to pick up a file of Edward's old school report cards and attendance certificates from elementary school.  I smile to myself when I find the class picture from Mrs. Fields' second grade class - the only class were in together as kids.
Charlie continues, "But I've also been looking for Ed and Liz's wills.  I can't find anything in this mess."  He gestures to the room and shakes his head, reaching for his coffee mug on the desk.
"What do you need their wills for?"
"I, uh, need to tell the coroner's office what their wishes were - buried or cremated."  Fuck. That's not what I was expecting him to say, but it's good to know at least one of us has a level head considering the major pit of fucked-up-ness our lives have been thrown into.  I was thinking about their property and stuff... not burial preferences. "I'm sorry, baby.  I should have waited until you went back home to look for them."
I take a shuddering breath and try to change the subject. "What time did you get here this morning?"
"Um, well, I came over after your mom fell asleep - around four."
"You've been here all morning?"  I glanced over at the clock on the wall, noticing it was nearly eleven-thirty.
He smiles sheepishly, "Yeah, well, I couldn't sleep, and I just wanted to make sure you were going to be okay.  When I first checked on you, and found you sleeping in Edward's room, I decided to come downstairs and straighten up a bit.  Three pots of coffee later, you come down the stairs. I haven't even noticed the time." He glances up at the clock again, then back at me, and sighs. "I should go back over to the house now. Why don't you get dressed and come home.  I know your mother needs you home to hold her together."  
"I know she does, Dad. I just can't leave here just yet."  This is my home now, I think to myself.
"Maybe she'll want to come over here to spend some time with you, but I don't know if she'd be able to deal with being in their house so soon. You know?"
I smile weakly at him, turning to walk back into the living room.  Carrumba has been quiet since I woke up this morning, and I wonder if she senses that something is off.  I approach her cage, watching her climb against the bars of the enclosure and jingle her little bell toy.
"Hi, Carrumba."
She stops playing and hobbles on the perch toward the front door of the cage.  As I release the latch, she holds on as the door swings open and clangs against the outer side of the bars.  She climbs up to the jungle gym on the roof of the cage and begins to preen herself.
"Isn't it going to fly away?" my dad questions as he emerges from the office. "I don't want to chase it down if it gets loose outside.  I don't even know how to take care of a damn bird."
I wrangle her food and water bowls from inside the enclosure and turn to face Charlie. "Lucky for you, Dad, I'm going to take care of her. She's my bird, now."
Charlie looks at me disapprovingly for a moment before he turns toward the office again.  "I just wish I knew where the hell their papers are," he mumbles softly. 
After I've fed Carrumba, I poke my head into the home office, checking on my dad's clean up progress.  He's elbow-deep in a pile of appliance warranty information, grumbling to himself, when I suddenly have an idea. "Hey, Dad! I might know of another place to look.  I'll be right back."
He nods and shuffles through another file as I make my way down the hall toward the master bedroom.  The door creaks slightly as I enter, and I feel along the wall for the light switch.  The curtains are drawn closed, so I walk toward the large picture window that overlooks the backyard and open them, allowing the bright Arizona sunlight to shine inside.  Their bedroom has always been immaculate - bed made and dresser tops cleared, the total opposite of Edward's room.  I trail my hand across the taupe-colored silk bedspread as I make my way to their closet.  Wrenching open the levered door, the first thing I see are the two large garment bags hanging in the corner of the closet - their vampire costumes.  I smile wistfully to myself, remembering their Halloween party a few years ago.
Ed greased up his forehead with face paint in order to make a dramatic widow's peak to replicate the look of Dracula. Elizabeth had tried wearing the plastic fangs, but said she couldn't eat the hors d'oeuvres with them in, so she claimed that she was a vampire with razor-sharp, normal-shaped teeth covered in venom.  Edward had argued with her that vampires have to have fangs to suck the blood out with, not poison their victims. 
That was a heated discussion.     
I push through the garment bags and find what I am looking for - their "safety deposit wok".  I grab the entire appliance and dart back to my dad in the home office.  Charlie pulls off the lid and -low and behold- there is a thick envelope labeled "wills".
"Thank God," he mutters. "I'll call the coroner's office and notify the attorney as soon as I get home."  He kisses me briefly on the top of my head and rushes out of the room. "Hurry home, Bella!" he yells as he slams the front door on his way back to his home.   
I drag myself back to Mom and Dad's house for some clothes and other necessities. Renee is waiting by the door like a lonely puppy, and her face lights up the moment I step inside the front door.  Before I can stop her, she has her arms wrapped tightly around me and is crying into my shoulder.  I fight the tears again, not wanting to breakdown right now.  I hold her for a moment or two, before I wrangle myself from her grip and break the news to her that I'm only there for a few minutes to collect some of my belongings to take to the other house.  She tries to argue and plead for me to come back home, but I can't be living here right now.  I just... can't. 
An hour is the most that I can stay in my parents' home without crumbling into a sobbing mess, so Renee helps me gather my loot and kisses me on my forehead as I'm leaving through the front door.  As I pass by Angela and Peter's house, I notice their father talking to Charlie over the picket fence separating the side yards.  Charlie's head is hung down, his hands covering his face, and his shoulders are shaking.  Pastor Weber has an arm on my father's shoulder as he's talking to him softly.  I assume my dad just told him everything that happened last night.
A few hours later, the sun has started to set in the sky, and I bring Carrumba into the kitchen with me while I scavenge for dinner.  I place her on the table top and turn to dig through the bare refrigerator.  I microwave a half bag of pizza rolls and sit at the table, sharing pieces of the delicious snack with my new pet.  We are stuffing our mouths - or in Carrumba's case, her beak - when the door bell rings.  She wipes her beak on the placemat as I head toward the living room. 
I lean up onto my tip toes to look through the peep hole of the door, but I can't see anyone.  Soft cries are muffled through the thick wood, and I immediately recognize it as Angela.  I carefully open the door and find her crumpled against the edge of the door frame, crying into her hands.  The sight makes my knees buckle, and instantly we are both sobbing and grasping on to one another.
"I'm so sorry, Bella," she rasps, hugging my body tightly. "It's so terrible!"
I let my tears fall on the shoulder of the only best friend I have left. "I don't know what I'm going to do, Ang. He was my whole life." 
We fall back into another round of sobbing and hugging, until we are both cried out and completely emotionally drained.
"Hel-lo?" A soft, perfect mimick of Edward's voice is heard in the doorway, and Angela and I both jump at the sound, startling Carrumba. "GWAAKK!"
She flaps her wings franticly, but I reach my arm out for her to climb onto my hand, and bring her to stand on my leg. "Sorry," I whisper to her, patting down her ruffled feathers.  She climbs closer to me and peeks around my body to look at Angela. "Yeah, she's sorry too, Carrumba."  
We laugh lightly and decide to get up from the porch and go back inside just as the house phone started ringing. 
"Are you going to get that?" Angela asks, quirking her eyebrows toward the cluster of electronic devices sitting on the counter.
"No, it's probably someone calling to give their condolences, and I just can't handle any more of that tonight."
She nods just as Liz's voice answers on the machine.
"Hi! You've reached the Masen's.  We can't come to the phone right now, so leave us a message!"  -BEEP!-
"Uh, hi, Mr. Masen. This is Tony from B&E Jewel-" -BEEP!-
Angela whips her head around to look at me, silently questioning why I hit the disconnect button on the machine.  I shrug and shake my head, not really caring who it was.  If it was important, they'll call back.  Thank God it wasn't the local news station or any more police detectives wanting more details.  I couldn't handle any of that shit right now.
We clean up the kitchen and head into the living room.  Angela pops in a DVD; I'm grateful it isn't a tragic love story or violent movie. Disney's Mary Poppins is perfect. I always wondered what happened to my copy of it.  He was a closet Disney fan.
Halfway through the movie, Carrumba climbs into her cage, yawning loudly as she settles into her favorite spot on the perch.  By the time the credits are rolling, Angela and I fall asleep on the living room couch, snuggling throw blankets and decorative pillows.
Friday morning, Angela and I are startled awake by the sound of a loud knocking at the door.  I shuffle over to it, fumble with the lock, and squint into the ridiculously bright morning sun when I open it.
"Uh, Miss Masen?"
A quick intake of breath, and I nod furiously. I'll never be referred to by that name ever again, so I had better relish in his mistake now.
"Y-yes, that's me."
"Please sign here, miss."  The delivery man hands me a clipboard and a pen, and I purposely sign "Bella Masen".  I smile sadly to myself as I hand the clipboard back with a shaky hand, and retrieve the small box addressed to Edward Masen.  What is this?
"Have a great day, Miss Masen."  The man smiles broadly at me and turns to jog back to his truck.
Turning back to the living room, Angela is sitting up and rubbing her eyes, yawning. "What's that?"
"I don't know."
"Well, are you going to open it?"  She quirks an eyebrow at me as I carefully sit the box on the coffee table and gently lower myself to the couch.
Without any further encouraging from her, I rip into the package, and find a flat gift box inside. We stare at the unopened gift box as it sits in front of us on the coffee table like it was going to do a magic trick or something.  I've never felt right about opening someone else's gift.  You just don't do that.  Liz would consider that to be rude.  But curiosity is driving me crazy, so I snatch the box off the table and hold it tightly to my chest for a moment before slowly cracking open the lid.
Inside is a beautiful, delicate necklace.  The smooth, shiny texture of the platinum infinity symbol pendant was breathtaking.  Angela grabs the invoice, claiming that it was designed by the customer: E. Masen and purchased with Ed's credit card.  Who knew Ed had such nice taste?
"It must have been for Liz's birthday.  She would have been forty-four next week," I whisper, my voice trembling slightly.
Angela pulls the necklace out of the box and holds it out to fasten around my neck.
"I can't wear this!? It's Liz's!" I shriek.
"Bella, I don't want to sound insensitive, but she's not going to need it."
"But it's just wrong, Ang. Ed designed that for her."
"Well, if she was to give it away to someone... say, in a will... who would that have been? Hmm?" She quirks an eyebrow, and nods once when she notices my silent admission that Liz would probably hand the pendant down to me later on - if she were still alive.
Silently, I turn away from her and pull my hair up, allowing her access to fasten the necklace around my neck.  We glance in the decorative mirror above the couch and admire the way it fits perfectly against my skin.
"It's like it was made for you, not Liz.  She was a little bit bigger than you, so it would have been like a choker on her."
I nod my agreeance and turn to Angela, hugging her fiercely.  She's such a wonderful friend.
Charlie and Renee pop in from time to time during the next few days.  Both of them have only been working a few hours each day; Renee says that the salon is just not the same without Liz's cheerful smile, and Charlie claims the department is a really somber place and if he spends too much time there, he just gets more and more depressed.  When they visit me, they bring food, movies, and a few of my books to read, but neither of them can stand to be in the Masens' house for too long. Too many memories.
Angela and Peter spend some time with me, too - laughing, crying, and reminiscing on the good times we all shared with Edward.  One day, Angela finally convinces me to wash the piles of musky clothes on Edward's bedroom floor.  I cry as I carry them down to the washing machine, wailing even harder as I pour the laundry detergent into the water, sad that his scent will be gone forever.  Angela holds me while I cry with each load, but she sticks by my side until the whole room is laundered.
As I put the last load in the dryer, I remember Edward's duffelbag from the cabin.  I sprint up the stairs and rummage through his closet, finding it stuffed in the corner on top of his shoes.  I heave it onto the bed and notice that a few items fall out of the bag and onto the floor.  Gathering them up, I put them in the nightstand drawer to cry over later tonight when I go to bed.  God, I miss him so much.  Pulling myself out of my depressing thoughts, I yank all the worn clothes and smelly socks from the bag and toss them into a hamper.  I head back down the stairs to start the next load of laundry.

It's been nearly two weeks since the crime scene was discovered, and each passing day seems to get a little bit easier.  But the nights... the nights are the worst.  Every evening I take a shower using his body wash and shampoo.  The smell brings back the memories of running my fingers through his chaotic hair and snuggling against his chest as we watched movies on the couch.  I even imagine the damn loofah as his hands - softly caressing my skin as they travel all over my body.  Eventually, I slip into a pair of his pyjama pants and a teeshirt - sometimes even a clean pair of boxer briefs - and crawl into his bed, crying myself to sleep.

Tonight, as I'm snuggling under the covers, I remember the trinkets I put in the nightstand drawer.  Already a blubbering mess, I wipe my eyes on the edge of the pillow case and wrench open the drawer.  I reach in blindly and my hand grasps his watch.  Pulling it out and looking at it closely in the light of the bedside lamp, I frown.  I never really liked this watch, but it suited Edward perfectly.  It was created for the avid outdoors man: built-in compass, temperature gauge, and waterproof, but the gaudy gold links made it look cheap.  It was a gift from his parents for his birthday last year.  You'd think after eighteen years, they would know that their son never wore yellow gold.

Another tear trails down my cheek as I clasp the tacky time piece to my wrist and reach into the drawer again.  This time I retrieve his strawberry lip balm.  I smile to myself, recalling Peter always teasing him for buying "chick Chapstick".  Edward would shrug it off, knowing how much I loved the way it tasted on his lips.  I twist the top off and bring it closer to my nose to sniff it.  Just as I am about to smear it on my lips, I realize his lips were the last to touch it.  A sob wracks through me as I lift my shaky hand and make a gentle pass with it against my lips.  Kiss me, Edward.  I move my lips against one another, imagining they are his that are touching mine.

I carefully put the cap back on and toss it back into the drawer.  Reaching for a tissue to blow my nose, I notice his phone and a tattered notebook.  I grab the phone, mash the power button, and set it next to me on the bed, giving it time to power up.  Grabbing the notebook, I notice the worn edges and frayed remnants of paper stuck in the metal binding coil.  There are several figure-eight designs scribbled onto the front cover.  Some have other shapes in the center of it, and others have lines drawn from the ends.  Bored with Edward's heiroglyphics, I flip through the first several pages, noting some random drawings and sketches of bugs.  Skipping through to the middle of the book - where most of the frayed edges are - I notice... poetry?

Edward didn't do poetry.  Men don't write that sissy shit, he used to say.

I read a few lines of his writings... Oh. My. God...

His wedding vows.


Post a Comment

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or it's character names - those belong to Stephenie Meyer. Bittersweet Irony and it's characterizations, backgrounds, and plot lines belong to SweetVenom69. No copying, translation, or reproduction is allowed without my written authorization.
© 2010 SweetVenom69.