Word Count: ~ 12,700
Disclaimer: Twilight, Alice, Bella and all other such characters/locations don’t belong to me. They belong to Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended, no profit being made.
Summary: What if Bella was meant for Alice? But tragedy looms. How will they handle it?
Archive: By permission only
A/N: A special thank you to dhamphir for the beta
There was a park I liked going to, when things were weighing me down. It wasn't anything spectacular, if anything it was rather quiet and simple. But it was filled with big , thick trees that provided copious amounts of shade, a large glassy lake which housed a number of ducks and other bird life, and your typical swing set play area for people to bring their children to play. The surrounding forest gave the park a private feel. I guess it had been that feeling of privacy that had first drawn me to it. I found myself going there more often of late, filled with a sense of imbalance within my life. I liked my job, liked my friends, had a nice house that I could call my own and yet it all felt so incredibly empty. Really, if I were honest with myself, the only time I seemed to feel anything akin to happiness was doing 130 km/hr plus down the highway on the back of my sleek black and chrome cruiser. The freedom was exhilarating, the rush of cold wind on my face rejuvenating. But when I felt weighed down or hollow, when tearing down the road to the roar of my motorcycle's engine wasn't enough to lift me from the quagmire of my emotions, I came here.
It was in that very park that I first saw her. I couldn't have told you, at that time, who she was or why she was there. She never approached me, instead just choosing to remain distant, leaning against the trunk of a tall thick tree, watching me. At first, I have to tell you , the intrusion annoyed me. In fact it kind of pissed me off. That was my personal time to wallow in the things I felt without being scrutinised, without being spied upon. Who was she to stand there, watching me? Of course, I could have confronted her, demanded to know
what she wanted, but I just sat there, doing my best to ignore her.
Each time I came to the park I would see her, always under her tree, watching me curiously. For the most part I ignored her, putting her out of my mind while I tried to make sense of the feelings that had made it necessary for me to go to that place. Soon enough, only a few short weeks after that first time I had seen her, I found myself going there, not because I felt weighed down by the imbalances in my life, but because I felt hope and excitement for the first time in a long time. If I was honest with myself, it was because I hoped I would see her, and the thought that I might filled me with this strange excitement. So I would go to the park and she would be there. At first I tried waving, but she just stood under her tree, her head tilted curiously as she looked at me. Occasionally I would call out "hello,” but she never answered back. Finally, when nodding my head to acknowledge her presence garnered no response I gave up on getting to know this strange, quiet watcher. The nervous excitement I had been feeling had finally evaporated and the hollow emptiness from before returned with a vengeance.
Life had always been a simple thing for me. Ever since I could remember I had been a vampire. Perhaps that was because I had no memory of my human life. It was trapped in a darkness that I could not see, even with the special gift my nature had seen fit to bestow upon me. Our kind were gifted in many ways, superhuman strength, heightened senses, indestructible conditioning, but there were those amongst us with extra 'special' gifts. I, like my brother Edward and my best friend Jasper, was one of those few.
My gift, though at times it was akin to a curse, was this amazing foresight into the future. This sight allowed me to see things that had yet to happen, but nothing I saw was ever concrete. Nothing was set in stone. My visions were only as sure as the decisions of the person making them. If they changed their minds, the visions changed. That was the dual edge of my 'gift'.
I cannot be sure what prompted that particular vision to enter my mind, but it did, one ordinary day as I flitted lazily about the forest surrounding my family home. A girl, alone, beneath the shade of a large bulky tree in a nondescript park in town. She seemed sad, angry, confused. The vision I had of her made me curious. It didn't reveal anything important, so why had I had it? Perhaps I would go to this park and find out.
Days blended together, weeks passing by with mundane routine. Was this all there was to life - sleep, eat, work, sleep? What about adventure, love, butterflies and all that other crap you see in the movies? Did I not deserve a little bit of that too? I found myself riding towards my familiar park that day, needing the peace, the calm, the sounds of ducks milling about the lake, the whirring of a remote controlled boat as it sailed across the water, or the bark of someone's dog as they headed out for a stroll. I found my spot, the comfortable shade of my tree, claimed as my own a number of years ago. My eyes automatically scanned the area, searching for my distant observer and I mentally grumbled at myself for it. Why should I care if she was there or not? But the truth was, I did care, and I hoped that she might be around.
My eyes fell upon the tree, her tree as I liked to think of it, and my heart sank a little. She wasn't there. She hadn't come. I couldn't really explain why this upset me. It was silly really. It's not like I had told her I was going to be there, it's not like she would have known. It was just that she had always managed to be there before, so I had hoped she would be there that time as well. I felt my eyes begin to well up at that moment, muttering at myself at how ridiculous I was being. As I wiped at my eyes angrily, I turned towards my bike, ready to leave and escape, only to find myself stuck, shock rooting my feet in place. There she was, not under her tree, but closer, the curious look still on her face. I couldn't be sure, my mind was still in a state of shock, but I thought I saw her mouth open as if she were going to say something, but then close, nervously chewing her lower lip. She raised her hand to wave tentatively at me but I wasn't paying attention, not really. She had seen me wiping my eyes hadn't she? Had she heard me muttering about her?
"Oh, God!" I had thought, utterly mortified.
I lifted my hand to cover my face instinctively, embarrassed that she might have seen me searching for her, then getting upset like a child when I couldn't find her. When I lowered my hand, she was gone.
"Shit!" I growled to myself.
I left the park then, sure I had blown my one chance to get to know my strange, quiet observer.
There was something about that girl; I couldn't place it but something drew me to that park time and time again. Sometimes she would sit and eat, sometimes she would talk to herself, and sometimes she would simply sit there and cry. Even across the other side of the park I could hear her, hear the muttering and self-depreciating things she would rant about. Humans were such curious creatures. The thing that shocked me the most, the thing that even my visions had neglected to hint to me, was how much I would dislike the sound of her cries.
Repeatedly, she had tried to get my attention, waving or calling out a greeting, nodding her head in my general direction. Each time she would send me a signal I had to fight the unfamiliar desire within me to cross the grassy expanse I kept between us and to say hello. I had to be careful with this human, with my human. Even across the park I could smell her blood and it made my throat burn with thirst. I, like the rest of my family, prided myself on the choice I had made not to feed upon humans. We were, as we liked to joke, the vegetarians of our kind, choosing instead to sate our hunger with the blood of animals. Sometimes, however, a human would come along whose blood would sing to one of our kind. I had never experienced that kind of thirst before, that blinding need to consume someone so completely that nothing else mattered. I had never experienced that before - until now.
I tried to stay away, tried to put the images of Bella out of my mind. I knew her name even though we had never spoken, having heard it fall from her own lips many a time. Her musky scent teased me even across the park. But try as I might I could not stay away from her, from my human. And so I did not. I returned to the park, testing myself, moving closer to her, fighting the urges her scent would stir in me, until finally I felt ready to make myself known. My visions had shown me the exact day I would reciprocate a greeting toward her, but I could not see anything beyond that, her response to that greeting not yet decided.
It didn't take perfect eyesight to see the surprise on her face, seeing me closer, not standing beneath the tree she had no doubt become accustomed to seeing me under. I waved, hoping that greeting was appropriate enough, somewhat unsure of such simple human mannerisms. Not even my visions had prepared me for her reaction, the sound of her muttering about looking for me, the way she hid her face from me. Hurt flashed across my features for the briefest of moments before I slipped quickly into the surrounding forest, disappearing from the parkland.
That night, sleep eluded me. I tossed and turned all night long, unable to get that image out of my head - her hand lifting nervously and the brief glimpse of hurt crossing her features before I covered my face. I had been so wrapped up in my embarrassment I hadn't registered that I had hurt her feelings. Well done , Bella!
The following day was hard, sleep deprivation and exhaustion putting my nerves on edge, pushing my limits. I was snappy, irritable and I knew my work-mates were eagerly counting down until home time. I couldn't blame them. I didn't even want to be near me. And so, I found myself under my tree, less than an hour after knock off, indulging in some hot chips while I tried to work out why I was feeling so angry. She wasn't there, my eyes had been randomly scanning the area from the moment I had arrived.
This was stupid! I needed a change. I needed to try something, to do something to inject some energy back into my life. I had some money in savings, and nothing really tied me to this city, not since Charlie's passing. I plopped a hot chip into my mouth, nodding my head resolutely as I ate and an idea began forming itself within my mind. It was decided. The next day I would call my local real estate agent and list my house for rent and sale. I would look into pricing of a storage container for my stuff and then, when I had everything sorted, I was quitting my job and jumping on a plane. I didn't know where to yet, but anywhere had to be better than here. I would give myself two weeks. Yes. Soon I would start saying goodbye to this boring, dreary life.
I froze, a hot chip midway to my mouth, as the most beautiful voice I had ever heard seemed to float around me. I turned my head, my mouth still embarrassingly agape, and there she was, my quiet observer, not 10 feet from me.