Chapter Four: The Vision

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 Please vote and comment lots! I'm working on some really cool stuff to happen during what Bella called their "perfect summer" and during which, in my story, Edward was already convincing himself to leave her. Many of the events of New Moon will be foreshadowed, so vote and add and comment! :) 

 Chapter Four: The Vision

I waited for Bella outside of her Spanish class, impatient to see her, to walk her to lunch as I did each day, yet I was feeling somehow reluctant at the same time. The fears I had faced earlier this morning had sent up huge warning flags to me, and I was afraid that Bella, perceptive as she was, would pick up on my ambivalent mood. From across the campus, I could feel Alice's eyes on me as she and Jasper entered the cafeteria right behind Rose and Emmett. I concentrated, blocking every voice of the two hundred-some students of Forks High School in order to hear just Alice.

"Edward, you can't leave," she thought, and sadness permeated her thoughts-so much sadness that I winced. No matter what I did, I hurt someone-and not just "someone"-I hurt the people I loved. I truly was a monster of the worst sort. "It's really not necessary for you to go...and it may not change anything."

She stopped suddenly in her tracks, standing beside our usual table in the cafeteria, and I saw images flashing across her mind. I saw myself in the Volvo, driving alone across an autumn landscape, my jaw set in what could only be pain, my eyes emptied of all emotion. I saw us, all of our family-with the exception of Bella-in Denali. I saw my face, iced over in sadness, in grief. I saw myself seated, my head in my hands, on a sofa in Tanya's spacious living room, Esme attempting to comfort me, her arm around my shoulders as I choked out tearless sobs. I saw Alice's face watching Esme's futile attempt to console me, my sister's eyes looking almost liquid with tears she couldn't produce or shed to relieve her pain-the pain we shared. I saw myself running, over and over again, through the autumn-colored forests surrounding Denali, my eyes grief-stricken, as if seeking some relief from great pain. Bella was nowhere in any of these flashes.

With Jasper at her elbow guiding her into her seat, Alice came out of her trance, and her thoughts were laden with emotion. "Oh, Edward!" she thought. Her thoughts seemed past words. I sensed Jasper's concern as he experienced Alice's pain at the images that had flashed across her vision. His arm wrapped around her shoulders in an attempt to calm her, and, when his touch did little, he sent peace settling across the table. I saw the worry on all the faces of my siblings as Alice's horror-struck expression registered in each of their minds relax slightly with Jasper's help.

Jasper's anxiety was all for Alice. Rosalie and Emmett exchanged worried glances. All their eyes were on Alice again, but she put a hand up to still their questions, shaking her head in negation as she did so. Rose and Emmett relaxed into their chairs; Jasper remained concerned for Alice.

And I swallowed convulsively, trying to calm myself enough to breathe again. Would I ever breathe again? Would Bella be gone? Dead? What will cause me such pain this fall?

Alice began thinking again, and I easily picked up her thoughts. "I don't know what that was-it was completely new to me. But you can't leave now, Edward. Perhaps your thoughts of leaving have opened up these new possibilities. I think you and Bella are simply too intertwined to separate your futures now. I think...." She paused, and I realized that I was holding my breath, waiting for her to finish her thought. "I think it may be too late...." Her thoughts trailed off.

I realized that I had stiffened in stress, frozen to absolute stillness as Alice's thoughts came to me. "It's too late," she had thought. All too clearly I remembered Bella stating the identical words, almost in the same grief-stricken tone, in my car on our way home from Port Angeles several months ago. I had berated her for saying it-for considering that we had passed a point of no return, for thinking that we had no choice. That I had no choice. There were always choices to be made ... no matter how difficult they might be....

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